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Big B bait for fake lottery

If you can identify pictures of Big B, Dharmendra and Akshay Kumar and are offered an SUV as a reward, would you be delighted or suspicious?

East Singhbhum police on Friday busted a con gang and arrested two persons from Sakchi who duped gullible victims with lottery-based contests in which ridiculously easy questions were asked and expensive prizes dangled as bait.

The two arrested were identified as S.K. Verma and Rajiv Kumar Verma, residents of Katrisarai in Nalanda, and Akbarpur in Nawada, both in Bihar.

Three cellphones and four ATM cards were seized from the duo.

SP (city) Karthik S. said the gang operated mainly from Katrisarai.

ďThey inserted ads in newspapers of lotteries featuring easy contests of identifying celebrity pictures and offered prizes such as SUVs. Aspirants were asked to call the number given in the ad if they were successful. But then came the real catch,Ē Karthik said.

Participants were asked for a registration-cum processing fee between Rs 5,000 and Rs 20,000.

Many fell for this bait.

In January, Adityapur youth Kaushal Kishore Singh, who had taken part in one of the Chehra Pechano, Inam Jeeto contests and deposited Rs 9,100 as ďregistration feeĒ, realised he had been tricked when he did not get his SUV as promised.

Instead of moping, Kaushal informed East Singhbhum SSP Amol V. Homkar, which alerted the police. The ad in a local vernacular daily gave the police valuable clues.

SP (city) Karthik said the two Vermas would be grilled to find if they had other aides.

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