Kashmiri man poses as WHO director, arrested

Kashmiri man poses as WHO director, arrested

Shoukat Ahmed Lone

A Kashmiri man and his car driver were arrested in Mangaluru for posing as the World Health Organisation (WHO) director.

The suspects are Shoukat Ahmed Lone, son of Mohammed Ramzan Lone, a resident of Ganjipora in Ganderbal of Jammu and Kashmir and Baljinder Singh, S S Nagar, Mohali, Punjab.

“We’ve alerted central investigative agencies, including the National Investigation Agency about the arrests. We are ascertaining the purpose of their visit to sensitive areas in Mangaluru and possible relationship with any outfits,” Mangaluru City Police Commissioner Dr P S Harsha told reporters.

Acting on a tip-off that a car having WHO and Indian government nameplates was seen suspiciously roaming, the police began search operation on August 17. The police traced the car the same day near Ballalbagh and arrested the duo, Harsha said.

During the interrogation, it came to light that Lone posed as Dr Basit Sha and collected money from youths promising employments. He collected between Rs 5 lakh and 20 lakh and duped job aspirants, said the police.

Lone has multiple accounts in matrimonial sites. He contacted women willing for wedding from Punjab, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Goa and Karnataka and duped them.

The duo visited sensitive areas in many states. They reached Mangaluru on August 16 as Lone wanted to meet a woman he had contacted on a matrimonial site, said the police.

The investigation revealed that Lone was at large after the local police booked him for various crimes. Singh was working as Lone’s driver for the last two years, said the police.

The court has remanded the duo in police custody.