The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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4700 aspiring models led up sham catwalk

New Delhi, July 1: Delhi police have arrested a 30-year-old woman on charges of running a fake modelling agency.

Bhawna Karir, the owner of Media Ad Link, is said to have amassed Rs 2.35 crore by promising more than 4,700 boys and girls lucrative modelling assignments.

Karir was remanded for 14 days in judicial custody by a city court yesterday.

The economic offence wing of Delhi police received a complaint from Anil Kumar Saini, alleging that Karir had promised him attractive modelling assignments from various agencies.

According to police, Saini was tempted by the offer and went to Karir’s south Delhi office as he wanted his daughter to take up modelling.

During the meeting, where Saini’s daughter was also present, Karir showed him several portfolios of boys and girls who she claimed were doing very well as models.

“Saini fell into the trap and paid Rs 1,100 as entrance fee and later, as Karir desired, showed her some photographs of his daughter,” deputy commissioner of police (economic offence wing) Dinesh Bhatt said.

However, Karir rejected the photographs, saying they were not up to the mark and suggested that her professional photographer would shoot her portfolio, the officer said. For this she charged another Rs 5,500.

Police investigation has revealed that this was her usual way of taking aspiring models for a ride.

First Karir would charge an entrance fee followed by another fee ranging between Rs 5,000 and Rs 21,000 for photo shoots at her own lab. She has allegedly made a fortune by duping boys and girls this way, the police alleged.

DCP Bhatt said while Karir claims she has been in the business for seven years, the police have found that she was running the agency since a-year-and-a-half.

“She knew that parents will succumb to pressure from their children wanting to make big in modelling,” Bhatt said. It has become fashionable for youngsters to opt for modelling, another police officer said.

Karir was earlier arrested in 1992 for publishing obscene photographs of a minor girl in a pornographic magazine. The case is pending trial.

The police, however, ruled out the possibility of Karir using these aspiring models for soliciting people.

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