Three people were arrested from Bihar for posing as representatives of Patanjali Yog Gram in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar and duping people seeking Ayurvedic treatment, police said on Saturday.
Twenty fake websites that resembled the Yog Gram were identified and their details sent to the National Internet Exchange of India to get them blocked, they said.
The accused have been identified as Harendra Kumar (25), Ramesh Patel (31) and Ashish Kumar (22), all residents of Bihar. Harendra is a website developer and he created the fake sites to dupe people, the police said.
Victim Nitin Sharma, in his police complaint, said he wanted to get Ayurvedic treatment for his son and found a contact number on the internet.
When he dialled the number, the person on the other end introduced himself as Dr Sunil Gupta from Patanjali and asked Sharma to pay Rs 10,000 as registration fee.
Sharma said he was asked to make multiple payments and he ended up paying Rs 2,40,500, a senior police officer said.
During investigation, police found that the mobile number flashed on the internet was purchased in Kolkata and was active in Nalanda, Bihar. The money deposited by Sharma was withdrawn from different ATMs in West Bengal, the officer said.
During investigation, Harendra was apprehended. Based on his submission, Patel and Kumar were arrested with from Giriyak in Nalanda with the help of police in that state, Deputy Commissioner of Police (north) Sagar Singh Kalsi said.
During interrogation, the accused revealed that they used to purchase pre-activated sim cards from West Bengal, Assam and Orissa, and that they had created multiple bank accounts to carry out the fraud.
The websites resembling Patanjali Yog Gram were also created for the same purpose, the police said.