Man posing as singer Armaan Malik arrested

The accused cheated many women by befriending them using a fake Facebook account

A 30-year-old man who impersonated himself as playback singer Armaan Malik and cheated many women of several lakhs by blackmailing them with their photos has been arrested by the Coimbatore Rural Police on Wednesday.

The accused cheated gullible women by befriending them using a fake Facebook account created in the name of the singer.

The District Crime Branch (DCB) of the rural police, who arrested Mahendra Varman, a native of Ulundurpet in Villupuram District, found that the accused, who had completed Teacher’s Training Programme, had cheated at least 20 women from various parts of Tamil Nadu including Coimbatore.

“The accused created a fake Facebook profile of Armaan Malik by downloading the singer’s pictures from his original Facebook and Twitter accounts. He sent friend requests to several women which many of them accepted. The accused gained the trust of some of them and made them share their nude pictures via Facebook messenger and WhatsApp. He later used those pictures to blackmail them,” said a police officer.

According to DCB officials, the accused had been operating the fake Facebook profile for over a year. He was fluent in many languages including English, Tamil and Hindi.

“The actual number of women cheated by the accused and the money he had defrauded from them are yet to be found out. He had received money through net banking and money transfer apps. A mobile phone and a tablet seized from the accused have been handed over to the court,” added the official.

DCB team led by inspector Yamuna Devi and sub-inspector P.A. Arun arrested Varman by setting a trap in Coimbatore. The police made one of the complainants to invite Varman to Coimbatore and collect the money he had demanded from her.

Varman was arrested for offences under various Sections of the IPC and the IT Act. He was remanded in judicial custody on Wednesday.

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