Singanallur Police have arrested Mohammad Rafiq of Tondiarpet, Chennai, on charges of duping people and commercial establishments by collecting money in the name of Mayor S.M. Velusamy.

Inspector S. Elango, who arrested Rafiq in Chennai on Sunday, said that using a business development site, he collected phone numbers, called up big commercial establishments, identified himself as the Mayor and sought money.

He would tell the owners or managers of those commercial establishments to deposit the money in his account, which was with the Tondiarpet branch of a public sector bank. He would also advise the people that the transaction must be discreet.

Fake calls

He had last called up an AIADMK worker from Singanallur, ‘Singai’ Muthu but was outsmarted when Mr. Muthu quickly retorted that it was not the Mayor who was on the phone and that the caller identify himself. Realising that he could not continue with the convsersation , Rafiq switched off his mobile phone.

Mr. Muthu then lodged a complaint with the Police by detailing what had happened. The Police got hold the number, traced it to Rafiq. They also verified the account number and that too led them to Rafiq. The Police then arrested him on Sunday.

Inspector Mr. Elango said that interrogation revealed that Rafiq was a seasoned criminal and he was arrested on two occasions for similar offences – once by the Vellore Police and on the second occasion by the Kallakurichi Police.

In Coimbatore, he had confessed saying that using the modus operandi mentioned above, he had extracted money in lakhs and thousands from jewellery outlets, hospitals and commercial establishments.

A complete list of people who Rafiq had cheated would be known only after they scrutinise his account, which would happen in the next couple of days, the Inspector added.

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