Fake casting director held for duping aspiring models

The accused, identified as Uttam Pande (alias Jogi), used to contact his targets, mostly women, through Instagram. He had opened an account in the photo-sharing-cum-social networking site by the name of Jogi and claimed to be an assistant casting director, with his office in New Delhi’s Connaught Place, said a police official.

The cops reportedly opened an Instagram Account and contacted Pande and that is how he landed in the police net, said a source.

The matter came to fore when a 20-year-old woman, who is a student of agriculture science and resides at Delhi’s West Patel Nagar area, approached the police and narrated how she and her roommate were duped by the accused.

On April 14, Pande sent a message to the complainant in Instagram and told her that she has been selected for a sepia catalogue shoot, allegedly scheduled to take place on April 17 at BAG Films studio in Noida, and she shall also be remunerated Rs 25,000 for the same.

However, he also mentioned that the complainant shall first have to pay Rs 6,400 for the Cine and TV Artistes’ Association (CINTAA) card required for the purpose. On April 16, the complainant met him at a McDonald’s outlet in West Delhi’s Naraina and handed over the said amount, but he informed that the shoot was postponed, revealed the police FIR.

In the evening, the complainant came to know that Pande had contacted her roommate too and told her that she was selected for a photo shoot for the major garment brand Biba. She had already paid Pande the same amount for CINTAA card just a day before the complainant. She also said that the promised Biba shoot was cancelled too.

When contacted by both the complainant and her roommate on April 17, Pande told them that now they were selected for a photo shoot for paint brand Nerolac in Mumbai. He also told them that had he had booked flight tickets for them and messaged them the PNR numbers, which later turned out to be false. On the same day, Pande again met the victims and took Rs 2,000 from each on the pretext of some additional fees for the CINTAA card.

When Pande couldn’t be availed on phone again post April 19, the complainant reported the matter at the Connaught Place police station. It is now suspected that Pande has duped several youths to the tune of lakhs, not only in Delhi but also in Mumbai and other big cities. The police may soon contact Mumbai Police for inputs regarding the accused, the police source added. 

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