Actor, model couple held for child modelling scam
Hyderabad: The Cyberabad cybercrime police on Monday arrested a model-turned-small-time Bollywood actor and his wife for allegedly duping people of money on the pretext of casting their children along celebrities in advertisements and movies.
The duo, Apurva Ashwin Dawda and Natasha Kapoor, held ramp walks in malls to enroll children. They used to collect money for costumes and make-up for the shoots, assuring the same would be refunded.
The police said they namedropped famous actors and designers to trap victims. They also hosted a website, police said.
Cyberabad police commissioner M. Stephen Raveendra said there are five cases against them, including one in Bengaluru.
In one of the cases, they duped a couple of `14.12 lakh for selecting their daughter to feature in a biscuit commercial.
The police said that Ashwin, a Mumbai native, claimed to have master's degree in marketing from a US university but moved back home to work as a model and then acted in two movies. With a lack of further opportunities, he ran into debt.
The police said he was arrested in Mumbai in a similar case, but changed his name to Armaan Arjun Kapoor to evade the police. His wife Nazish Iqbal Memon changed her name to Natasha Kapoor.
The police said that the duo procured contact numbers of job aspirants from web portals.