New Delhi, Aug 27 : An MLA from Arunachal Pradesh was duped of Rs 25 lakh after a man claiming to be a journalist promised to get a petrol pump and gas agency set up for him in his constituency.
Congress legislator Rajesh Tacho holds the Anini seat in the remote Dibang valley.A case of cheating under Indian Penal Code was filed by Delhi Police after the MLA's wife Andre Keche filed a complaint, police said.
Andre told police that due to the absence of any petrol pumps in the entire district, the MLA was taking steps for the people of his constituency.
She identified the mastermind of the fraud as Ashu Kumar, a resident of south Delhi’s Mahipalpur Extension.
Ashu met the politician at Arunachal Bhawan in south Delhi’s Chanakyapuri in 2013, introducing himself as a journalist with The Times of India. He claimed that he covered Parliament and had strong links with senior officers in the Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry.
“Ashu said he would provide everything for setting up a petrol pump and gas agency at Anini and for that he demanded an initial payment of Rs 5 lakh,” Andre told police.This was given to him in July 2013.
Ashu later demanded more money and the politician paid Rs 5 lakh in August 2013 and Rs 10 lakh in November 2013. He visited Anini twice to survey the promised set up along with a man named Arun Pandey, who claimed to be an employee of the Land Division of the Petroleum Ministry.
The MLA paid more cash which Ashu said was required for a licence and other expenses.
The politician also provided air tickets for Ashu and Arun’s journey to Arunachal Pradesh.
“However, Ashu did not set up any petrol pump or gas agency, and has been untraceable. We have Ashu and Arun’s mobile phone numbers and photographs, and are working on leads to nab them,” a police officer said..