New Delhi: A 32-year-old man was arrested for allegedly posing as a media professional and cheating women on social media and matrimonial websites, police said Sunday. The accused identified as Abhishek Vashist was carrying a reward of Rs 50,000 on his head, they said. Vashist was arrested on Saturday from near Prem Ashram Chowk in Haridwar, police said.
Investigations revealed that the accused used to cheat people by making glass IDs on various matrimonial sites with different names, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) P S Kushwah said. According to the officer, the accused had lured 21 women through different matrimonial sites.
The accused presented himself as the owner of a company by the name “Akshaya Deep Media House’ and posed as an affluent businessman to woo women from well-to-do families, the officer said. A case was filed at the Barakhamba Road police station against the accused by a Delhi-based family for cheating them. A city court had also issued a non-bailable warrant against him in the case, the officer added.
According to police, the accused claimed to have worked as a reporter in various reputed news channels. In 2012, he posed as an astrologer (Acharya Atul Ji Maharaj) and appeared on Sadhana Media Channel on programmes. After the channel got to know about his activities, they discontinued his programmes. Later, the channel issued an advisory also available on YouTube that said Acharya Atul Ji Maharaj is a fraud person and the channel also received several complaints against the accused, the DCP said.
In 2016, he was arrested in a cheating case at a police station in Chandigarh when he tried to cheat a businessman in a bogus land deal. Later, he started cheating people by creating fake profiles on several matrimonial sites and presented himself as a wealthy unmarried person, owning a BMW car, a house in Gurgaon with an annual income of Rs 20-25 lakhs, the officer said.
In 2018, he came in contact with a girl from a Delhi-based family to whom he introduced himself as a media professional. He told the woman’ family that his parents were no more and had no relatives. Trusting his version, the victim got married to him in March. The accused stayed with her for two weeks and later eloped with all the jewellery and cash which the couple had received as gifts, Kushwah said.
Subsequently, a case was filed at the Barakhamba Road police station against the accused by the victim. A city court had also issued a non-bailable warrant against him in the case, the officer added. Later, the accused shifted his base from Delhi-NCR to Haridwar where he presented himself as an owner of a news channel. To cheat more people, he began interviewing prospective reporters for his channel and was in advance stage of negotiation with some persons for giving franchise of his news channel, he said.
He also began promoting his channel on Facebook and Twitter. The logo of his channel was also apparently similar to the logo of Star News channel. This logo was also displayed by him on several documents. Police said further investigation into the matter is underway.