Teenager dupes techie with astro remedies

Teenager dupes techie with astro remedies

Police photo of Akash Bhargav

Nineteen-year-old school dropout Akash Bhargav, a native of Rajasthan living in Punjab claiming to be an astrologer through his website www.specialistastrologer.com, allegedly extorted Rs 13 lakh from a 40-year-old techie.

He offered spiritual remedies to the depressed Hyderabad techie and siphoned off money.

Presenting the case here on Thursday, Rachakonda assistant commissioner S Harinath in a statement said that Akash, a resident of Jalandhar, extorted money from the victim in installments offering to perform rituals to rid him of his financial and marital problems.

Akash alias Akash Sharma is tech savvy. His father Raja Bhargav is a small-time priest-cum-astrologer in Jalandhar. Drawing inspiration from his father’s profession, Akash created at least eight websites, offering astrological services. He also operates dedicated online astrology services for Muslims.

The victim came across one of Akash’s websites while trying various options to end his problems. He went into depression after losing his job in an IT firm. Akash first asked him to pay Rs 2,000 for registration. Then, he went on listening to his problems and offering solutions for a price. The victim deposited Rs 12.97 lakh in instalments in three accounts suggested by Akash. The accounts belong to Akash’s father. 

Mother steps in

With no change in the victim’s condition and Akash demanding more money, the techie’s mother lodged a complaint with the Rachakonda cybercrime police on August 21. The police formed teams and arrested Akash from his house in Jalandhar.

The Rachakonda police registered a case against Akash under IPC sections 419 and 420 (both cheating) and sections 66C and 66D of Information Technology Act. He has been remanded to judicial custody at Chenchalguda jail.

The Rachakonda cops alerted their Hyderabad and Cyberabad counterparts besides Punjab cops to check if there are other victims of Akash’s fraudulent business.