Man held for cheating youngsters on pretext of providing acting opportunity in web series

New Delhi: A 26-year-old man was arrested for allegedly posing as a director-producer and defrauding hundreds of youngsters on the pretext of providing them with acting opportunities, police said on Tuesday.

Anuj Kumar Ojha from Bihar’s Gopalganj district registered a production company registered in the name of ‘AAVYA’ and allegedly lured youngsters by posting acting opportunities in web series, serials and advertisements on his Instagram stories.

He was also wanted in a case in Panchkula for allegedly cheating a woman by assuring her a role in a serial titled “Choti Sardarni”, the officials said.

Delhi Police became aware of the matter in October after a Narela resident lodged a complaint against the accused.

The victim said he had approached the accused after seeing Ojha’s Instagram story about a paid brand shoot, the police said. The accused allegedly made him sign an agreement for the shoot and also sought Rs 75,000 as payment. After he made the payment, Ojha said his advance would be credited into his bank account in two days.

Later, Ojha sought more money from the victim on the pretext of updating his profile and Income Tax-related issues. In all, the victim was defrauded of Rs 4,43,142. After defrauding the victim, Ojha allegedly visited Dubai where he spent a huge amount, the police said

As part of the investigation, details were sought from Instagram through which the accused allegedly induced youngsters to connect with him. His call details and money trail were analysed. Ojha was trailed but he kept changing his location, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer North) Ravi Kumar Singh said.

“On February 6, our team got a tip-off that Ojha would board Tulsi Express and go to Bhopal. Subsequently, a team was sent to Bhopal where he was apprehended while trying to escape to Indore. He was served a notice but he did not cooperate in the investigation and was arrested,” he said.

After moving to Mumbai following his studies, Ojha came in contact with his neighbour Rakesh Singh and registered the production company using his contacts, the police said.

“He shot three music videos and released them on YouTube. He also started organising events and ad promotion on Instagram. When people started contacting him, he started duping them in the name of providing opportunities in acting,” Singh said.

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