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Aspiring model held for duping 15 women

A 22-year-old aspiring model has been arrested for allegedly duping at least 15 struggling models on the pretext of helping them find work, the police said on Thursday.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-West) Devender Arya said the accused has been identified as Shubham alias Viraj Roy, a resident of Ranhola. He allegedly committed the crime along with his wife.

Fake photo shoots

The police said they had received several calls in connection with the case since June. The callers alleged that Viraj would pose as a casting director at an agency run by him called ‘Dream For Success’ while approaching the women.

“He would call aspiring and struggling models to luxury hotels in Mahipalpur on the pretext of photo shoots,” Mr. Arya said.

The accused would make them stay in the hotel for a day or two and create a set-up for a shoot as well. He would allegedly tell them that the shoot was for an international firm and that the payment would be received in foreign currency.

Bank account app

“He would take their mobile phones by tricking them into believing that they would have to share the password of the bank account app on their phones to receive the payment,” the officer said.

Viraj would then transfer money from the victims’ bank accounts into his own account.

With this modus operandi, the police said, he managed to dupe at least 15 women. He also fled with their mobile phones and other belongings, they said.

Investigation was taken up and Viraj was arrested from his residence.

During interrogation, he told the police that he was an aspiring model but had failed to succeed. However, he had built contacts and set up an agency, which he promoted on social media.

“After various setbacks in his attempt to become a model, he became financially unstable. Inspired by a Bollywood movie, he came up with a plan to dupe aspiring models along with his wife,” Mr. Arya said.

The officer said the bank account to which he transferred the money from the victims’ accounts was operated by his wife.

The police have recovered four mobile phones and five SIM cards from the accused.

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