Transgender pretends to be Odisha minister, dupes hospital owner on the phone
The complainant, alleged that her manager received a phone call on the hospital number and the caller posed as the personal assistant to the minister.
Written by Sujit Bisoyi
Bhubaneswar, The accused spoke to the complainant in the disguised voice of the minister and said that a religious figure named Maa Sibani Durga wanted to visit the hospital. (Express photo)
The Cyber Crime police in Cuttack arrested a transgender person on Tuesday for allegedly duping the owner of a private hospital last month by speaking in Odisha agriculture and farmers’ empowerment minister Ranendra Pratap Swain’s voice.
The accused, Soumya Ranjan Pradhan alias Lucky alias Sulagna (30), is from Raniakata in Angul district.
The complainant, owner of a private hospital in Cuttack, alleged that her manager received a phone call on the hospital number on September 7, and the caller posed as the personal assistant to the minister. The accused said it was an urgent matter and the minister wished to speak to the hospital owner personally.
“Sensing some urgency regarding a patient, the owner called back from her personal mobile number. The accused spoke to her in the disguised voice of the minister and said that a religious figure named Maa Sibani Durga wanted to visit the hospital,” said a senior police officer
During the call, the accused also handed over the phone to Durga, who said she was organising a hawan and required 31 kg ghee, for which she would need around Rs 46,000 from the complainant.
“As the complainant was very busy, she paid Rs 46,500 from her bank account to the UPI number provided by the fraudster. Later, the complainant verified and discovered that there was no call from the minister or his PA and she had been duped. When she called back, the number was switched off,” the officer said.
During the course of the investigation, it was ascertained that the accused had been to Delhi two years ago and picked up the modus operandi there.
After returning to Odisha, the accused visited the office of the agriculture minister seeking donation, and allegedly learnt how the minister spoke, police sources said.
After some days, the accused collected some pre-activated mobile numbers and accounts of unsuspecting people, and started calling owners of private hospitals, hotels and restaurants after getting their number from the internet. More than 100 people have been targeted by the accused in the past two years, who has made Rs 10 lakh from them, police said.
Courtesy : TIE
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