Andhra Pradesh gang use CM Jagan’s name to swindle money from MLAs
The gang members made calls to politicians from across the country including Sushma Swaraj, Ghulam Nabi Azad, JC Diwakar Reddy among others.
Published: 20th June 2019 07:10 AM | Last Updated: 20th June 2019 07:10 AM | A+A A-
VISAKHAPATNAM: Four youngsters, who formed a gang to make some easy money, duped a ruling party MLA and a former legislator of Rs 25 lakh by calling them up claiming to be personal assistants of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and former CM N Chandrababu Naidu.
The gang members made calls to politicians from across the country including former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Congress senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, former MP from Anantapur JC Diwakar Reddy and parliamentarians and MLAs.
The main accused in the gang is an engineering dropout, who learnt making spoof calls through dark web. “The main accused, 27-year-old P Vishnu Murthy alias Sagar of Gajuwaka, developed a liking for hacking.
"He visited several hacking websites and made acquaintance with unknown hackers and, with their help, he made spoofed voice calls to MLAs, MPs and other VIPs. Vishnu along with his friends contacted their targets through foreign Whatsapp numbers and collected Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh in two different cases,’’ Visakhpatanam City Police Commissioner Mahesh Chandra Laddha said on Wednesday.
He produced the arrested youths before the media. Apart from Vishnu, the other accused included a 30-year-old history-sheeter G Tarun Kumar of Vadlapudi, and 24-year-olds P Jaya Krishna of Peda Gantyada and M Jagadeesh of Sriharipuram.
Laddha said the gang members had created a fake foreign Whatsapp number to communicate with their targets. “This started in April last year and, after several attempts, Vishnu was successful in his criminal designs in December the same year,” the CP said.
On June 6 this year, the fraudsters spoofed phone number of K Nageswar Reddy, PA of Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy and made a call to Palasa MLA S Appala Raju, asking for Rs 15 lakhs on behalf of the CM. “They contacted him through WhatsApp calls and messages and sent Rs 100 note photo with 896553 number for identification and asked him to come to Marripalem Anna Canteen to hand over the money. The MLA’s aides came there and handed over the money to Jagadeesh,’’ according to the CP.
In another case, on May 7, 2019, former MLA of Pendurthy, Bandaru Satyanarayana received a call in the name of Srinivas, the PS of former CM N Chandrababu Naidu. “The caller told the former MLA that his person will send some messages through Whatsapp and after sometime, the former MLA received a Whatsapp message, saying ‘Chief Minister said send Rs 10 lakhs, he is in meeting, he will call you at night’ from a foreign number.
Believing that the message was genuine, Satyanarayana sent the money through his driver Sanyasi Naidu, who handed it over to the gang at the Steel Plant. Later, when the former MLA verified with Srinivas about the money, he realised that he was cheated,’’ Laddha said. The former MLA lodged a complaint with police in this regard.
Though similar calls were received by other personalities, they grew suspicious and reportedly verified with the personal staff of the CM and the former CM and escaped from falling prey to the fraudsters designs, police said.
“The gang also made spoof calls to Visakhapatnam MP MVV Satyanarayana, who sensed that something was fishy and sent 4-5 persons along with cash to the appointed location. They took care to hide themselves and stayed some distance away. The gang though came to collect the cash, left without meeting the MP’s men,” the CP said.
The gang used to create WhatsApp foreign numbers using new SIMs, Complaints were received from former MLA Pendurthy Bandaru Satyanarayana, MLA Vizag South Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar by Vizag PS, Palasa MLA S Appala Raju, ex-MLA Mummdivaram Datla Subba Raju by EG police and YSRC coordinator Harsha Vadhan Reddy by Hyderbad PS.