Four people were arrested in Lucknow for cheating local politicians in lieu of making them members of legislative council (MLCs), state ministers and other lucrative portfolios in Uttar Pradesh. Some of their fraudulent practices saw them pretending to be Home Minister Amit Shah and his personal assistant. Shamim Ahmad Khan, Hasnain Ali, Jane Alam and Himanshu Singh were nabbed by the Crime Branch of Lucknow Commissionerate and Hazratganj police. Shahid and Vijay aka Bablu, who are the other members of the group, are currently at large.
DCP (central) Khyati Garg said that the gang used to target small-time politicians over WhatsApp calls. Claiming to be senior leaders, the gang members would extort money by luring their victims with lucrative positions like MLCs or giving MLA tickets.
Garg said that in one of the cases, the group tried to trap a woman from Lucknow. Gang member Shahid, who is currently absconding, lured Reeta Singh by pretending to be Amit Shah’s personal assistant, and demanded Rs 1 crore token money to make her a member of UP legislative council. The DCP added that Hasnain, who has been arrested, even talked to Reeta posing as Amit Shah in a bid to convince her.
During interrogation, the gang members also admitted that they had extracted Rs 4 lakh from a man by pretending to be Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party (PSP) founder Shivpal Singh Yadav. They had promised him an MLA ticket.
Police said the gang had targeted other local politicians. The gang members had procured SIM cards on forged documents, and used to lay their trap through different phone numbers.
Recently, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MLA Mukesh Raushan had also discovered that a fake Facebook account in his name was minting money by requesting emergency funds from his contacts.