Pune: The Crime Branch Unit I on Tuesday nabbed a man for cheating over 100 people by posing as a film director and offering them work in the film industry.
The accused targeted models and photographers. He was identified as Sandip Vahranbale alias Sandy Patil (32), a resident of Kagal taluka in Kolhapur.
Vahranbale posed as a film director and producer and lured aspiring models and photographers. He duped people across various cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad, Ratnagiri and Panaji.
According to the Crime Branch Unit I, the accused gathered the contact details of models and photographers from Just Dial and Facebook. His modus operandi was to contact photographers and offer them assignments to make the portfolios of the models contacted by him. After inquiring about the charges of photographers he used to demand money from the aspiring models on the pretext of getting them a role in the movies.
After taking the money from the models he used to take the models and photographers to places such as Kass plateau to conduct the photo shoot. But once that was done, he stopped communicating with them.
Nitin Bhosale-Patil, Police Inspector, Crime Branch Unit I said, “The accused duped children, youngsters and even elderly people.”
“It was easy for him to target aspiring models by bluffing about his connections in the film industry. We came to know about the case after a Pune-based photographer was duped by him in 2015 as well as in October 2017, he added”
Bhosale-Patil said the accused used to charge Rs 30,000 to 40,000 from each of his victims. He said, “According to our estimate he duped 100 people and we believe there are many others about whom we don’t know. We appeal to the public to report to us if they have been duped by him.”
The accused has been arrested by the police for cheating and impersonating.