A mimicry artiste along with his two associates was arrested by the city police on Sunday on charges of extorting money from contractors and businessmen in the State.

The prime accused, Mohd. Rafiuddin (39), hailing from Karimanagar district, collected lakhs of rupees from influential people by posing himself as People's War Group district commander.

He and his associates -- Jaffer (47) and Majid Ali (42) made calls to 300 people from March this year and demanded money from them.

Rafiuddin was arrested by the police in 2003 and 2009 for committing similar offences.

He used to collect details of influential people from telephone directories and call them demanding money. He would threaten them with dire consequences if they failed to pay the amount, according to police.

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