CHENNAI: The Central Crime Branch (CCB) on Friday arrested five people in connection with creating fake social media accounts in the names of senior police officers and swindling money, from a hideout at Bharatpur in Rajasthan.
The accused were identified as Shakilkhan, the mastermind behind the racket, Mushtaqim Khan, Ravinder Kumar and two juveniles. Since September beginning, several fake Facebook accounts of police officers above the rank of Inspectors were created and messages were sent to their contacts asking money.
In Chennai, fake profiles of police commissione Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal, R Dhinakaran, Additional Commissioner of Police (South), ACP Madhavaram Arul Santhosa Muthu and ACP Christin Jayasil were created.
A special team had earlier nabbed Mushtaqim Khan from Baluri in Rajasthan, along with two other juveniles. While the juveniles were sent to government observatory home, an inquiry with Mushtaqim gave away Shakilkhan’s role in it, said the police.
Based on the inputs, the city police monitored specific places in Rajasthan and nabbed Shakilkhan and Ravinder Kumar as well. Probe has revealed that the gang had worked with similar modus operandi in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana.
"They created fake profiles with pictures of police officers and sent messages of false emergency seeking money. They ask only a minimal amount so people on the other end would not mind giving it to them. They made use of people’s respect for the men in khaki," said a senior police officer.
While creating fake profiles, the gang would have created accounts for online transactions to receive money. "In September, a friend of mine called me and asked about my wellbeing. He told me that I had texted him on Facebook. It was only later that I realised some conmen, posing like me, had asked for Rs 10,000 from him and also given a number to transfer the amount to," said Jayasil.
Similarly, Arul Santhosa Muthu said, an SI approached him while on duty and asked why he had demanded Rs 5,000 from him. "I thought he was pranking me but when he showed the chat I realised it was a fraudster," he said.