Vizag police arrested four youngsters from the city for duping political leaders and swindling money by using the names of Andhra Pradesh’s top leaders. The individuals from Vizag were found guilty of masquerading as the personal assistants of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and TDP Chief Chandrababu Naidu to collect hefty sums from MLAs and other politicians from the state.
The four fraudsters have been identified as P Vishnu Murthy, Tarun Kumar, P. Jaya Krishna (24), a and M. Jagadeesh (24). While Tarun Kumar is a rowdy-sheeter from Vadlapudi, Jaya Krishna and Jagadeesh belonged to Pedagantyada and Sriharipuram respectively. The main accused in the crime, P Vishnu Murthy alias Sagar is a resident of Gajuwaka. The 27-year-old, who is B.Tech dropout and son of an ASI, grew interested in hacking learned to make spoof calls through the dark web. Reportedly, Murthy established contacts with unknown hackers and made spoof calls to political leaders.
The list of the leaders who fell prey to the spoof galls by the gang from Vizag includes several MLAs and former MLAs across the state. The gang succeeded in spoofing the leaders through fake Whatsapp numbers and collecting large sums of money from them.
The gang was produced before the media on Wednesday. According to Police Commissioner Mahesh Laddha, the accused collected Rs 10 lakh and Rs 15 lakh in two different cases. On 7 May, former Pendurthi MLA Bandaru Satyanarayana was duped of Rs 10 lakhs when Vishnu Murthy disguised him as the PS of Chandrababu Naidu. In June this year, Murthy spoofed the phone number of CM YS Jagan’s PA Nageswar Reddy and collected a sum of Rs 15 lakhs from Palasa MLA S Appala Raju.
The fraudsters even contacted Visakhapatnam MP MVV Satyanarayana. The police received complaints from Bandaru Satyanarayana, Vizag South MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar, and Palasa MLA S Appala Raju among others.