Lucknow, June 30 : The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) has arrested an imposter from Jharkhand who ran an extortion racket in several states.
The STF said that the accused Ranjan Kumar Mishra, arrested on Monday, has been duping government officials, engineers and project managers in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam and Kerala since 2008.
He had even posed as a former Chief Minister of Jharkhand and extorted Rs 40 lakh from another political leader. An FIR was lodged in this case in Ranchi.
Mishra would make extortion demands by posing as different officials and extorted as much as Rs 50 crore in a span of 12 years. He has over 50 cases of fraud registered against him.
He also forced four members of Legislative Assembly in Madhya Pradesh to shell out large amounts by posing as the Governor, according to a complaint lodged in Sagar district.
Mishra was also lodged in Tihar jail for duping a government contractor in Delhi to the tune of Rs 5 lakh in 2018.
Amitabh Yash, Inspector General (IG) of Police of UP STF, said that Mishra had mastered the art of negotiating with officials. Seven cases of fraud have been registered against him in UP alone.
The STF tracked Mishra after a case was registered against him for extorting Rs 10 lakh from a project manager of UP Rajkiya Nirman Nigam.
The imposter had also posed as a Chief Justice and demanded Rs 10 lakh from the Director of Judicial Training and Research Institute (JTRI) in Lucknow.
Lucknow Police Commissioner had sought an STF probe in the case.
IG STF said, "While Mishra was lodged in a jail in Patna in 2011, he called the then SDM Mankapur in Gonda posing as Divisional Commissioner and demanded Rs 50,000. Likewise, he called SDM Bilsi in the same year for Rs 50,000 and SDM in Etawah for the same amount." The IG said that during probe it surfaced that Mishra had many aides in different states in whose accounts he used to get the money transferred.
Mishra will now be brought to Lucknow from Jharkhand for further interrogation.
Mishra's modus operandi is strikingly similar to the legendary Natwarlal, India's best-known conman who had even 'sold' the Taj Mahal.