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Indore: A trickster who attempted to cheat Rs 10 lakh from BJP MLA Akash Vijaywargiya by pretending to be SP (East) Mohammad Yusuf Qureshi was arrested by crime branch on Monday.

To avoid detection, the accused used to stay in a SUV from where he used to make calls to important people of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and extort money from them. Police said the accused, a mimicry artist, has cheated about 60 people in both the states.

Police said that on January 9, MLA Akash Vijaywargiya received a call from an unknown number. The caller introduced himself as SP (east) Mohammad Yusuf Qureshi and told Vijaywargiya that a sudden emergency had occurred in his family and he immediately needed Rs 10 lakh. He asked him to transfer the amount by RTGS and gave him the bank account details.

Vijaywargiya suspected something was fishy and called SP Qureshi and sought to know whether he had asked for Rs 10 lakhs. Realising that it was a case of attempting cheating the matter was handed over to ASP (crime) Amrendra Singh.

The call was traced to Pali in Rajasthan and the phone from which it came was registered in the name of Suresh alias Bhairaram Ghanchi. A Crime Branch team reached Pali and managed to nab Suresh after a brief chase.

Police said that the accused is known as Mr Natwarlal in Rajasthan. Recently, he called up the State Governor in the name of Home Minister Amit Shah recommending a name for appointment as a vice-chancellor of a university. He had also called up commissioner M B Ojha in Gwalior pretending to be a high court judge. In both the cases, the targets realised that it was a fake call.

However, he managed to cheat many people in the name of senior police officials of Rajasthan, MLAs of Jodhpur, Jaipur and Pali, police said.

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