Delhi, Aug 10, 2018 : A 22-year-old ‘struggling’ model, who posed as the casting director of a fake modelling agency, has been arrested for allegedly cheating other aspiring models by promising them roles in short films and fashion events and photoshoots organised by international firms, police said on Thursday.
Police said the man, Shubham alias Viraj Roy, cheated 15 aspiring models –a dozen of them women–from Delhi to the tune of around R 25 lakh since June this year.
Roy allegedly used to trick the victims into sharing details of their bank accounts, secret codes of their plastic cards and mobile banking and used them to transfer money in his accounts for shopping and his other expenses. He said he was inspired by a Bollywood movie, police said.
Deputy commissioner of police (southwest) Devender Arya said Roy’s wife, who herself is a struggling model, joined her husband in the crime. But she had not been arrested till Thursday evening.
“Her wife joined the probe. Her role will be examined and further action will be taken as per law,” Arya said. Four mobile phones, five SIM cards and several plastic cards belonging to the victims were seized from Roy.
Three separate cases were registered at the Vasant Kunj North police station on complaints from the 15 victims. The DCP said the complainants told police that Roy used to introduce himself as the casting director of “Dream for Success”, a fictitious company he ran.
Police said Roy posted his contact numbers and his agency details on various social media platforms, guaranteeing the aspiring models photoshoots or short films.
He sent multimedia messages to models who posted their profiles on social media. Roy used to call them to different hotels in Delhi’s Mahipalpur and book rooms for them.
“Roy would trick them into sharing their bank details by saying they were part of photoshoot demanded by an international firm and their earnings will be received in their account in foreign currency,” an investigator said.
The investigator said Roy convinced the models into leaving their mobile phones and other belongings with him. “Whenever an opportunity comes, Roy would flee with their belongings and transfer money into his accounts though various mobile money transfer applications,” the investigator said.
DCP Arya said Roy, a resident of Delhi’s Ranhola, aspired to become a model. He initially worked in low budget photo shoots and fashion events. Later he became financially unstable and decided to con people by starting a fake modelling agency, he said.