Conmen 'raise' party funds from industrialists

Conmen 'raise' party funds from industrialists

The City Crime Branch (CCB) police have arrested two men for soliciting money from prominent industrialists, on the pretext of raising funds for political parties.

The arrested are M S Rajashekhara, 48, a resident of Vijayanagar, and Ajay Upadhyaya, 58, a resident of Malleswaram. Police have recovered Rs 3.5 lakh in cash, four mobile phones and a car from the duo.

Police said the two men contacted industrialists in the City over the phone, and posing themselves as secretaries to political leaders, asked them for election funds.
However, one of the industrialists suspected foul play when a man introduced himself as Prasad, personal assistant of Deputy Chief minister K S Eshwarappa, and sought funds for the BJP. He called the leader to verify the details only to be told the fund-seekers were not genuine party workers.

He immediately took up the matter with Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) D Devaraja and gave him Prasad’s number. Devaraja contacted Prasad saying he would donate Rs 25 lakh to his party funds, if he waited for one day. However, Prasad said he was in immediate need of cash and agreed to meet Devaraja in Malleswaram to receive the money. The two men were waiting at a predetermined place in Malleswaram at a said time. Devaraja and the CCB sleuths ambushed the duo and took them into custody on Friday.

Police said Rajashekhara and Upadhyaya were a part of a three-member gang. Latha, the kingpin, is at large. A manhunt has been launched to nab her.

While initial investigations revealed that the men had approached Khoday’s, Mantri Group, Jagadale Group, Sanmruddhi Builders and Sobha Developers for funds, police suspect they may have conned many industrialists of larger amounts in the last few days.

Devaraja said further investigations were being carried out. A case has been registered at the Malleswaram police station.

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