A 17-year-old boy has been arrest in Sambalpur for allegedly creating fake Facebook profiles of political leaders and bureaucrats and using those to extract money and gifts from people, police said Friday.
The minor boy, who has studied up to Class 10, was apprehended on Thursday in connection with an investigation into a complaint filed by former vice-chairman of Sambalpur Municipality Sidharth Shah, they said.
The matter came to light after Mr Shah lodged police complaint, alleging that some unknown persons had opened a fake Facebook account in his name by using his photographs.
The complainant further said that by using his name, the unknown person had sent friend requests to many people of Sambalpur, and collected money and other gift items from them. A team was formed and the minor was apprehended after an investigation, Superintendent of Police (SP) of Sambalpur Sanjeev Arora said.
SP Arora said the minor admitted that he had created hundreds of fake Facebook accounts in the name of different persons, including state Health Minister N K Das, MLA Narasingha Mishra, Shah and the Sambalpur collector.
He also confessed to collecting money and gifts from different people, who were on the friend lists of these personalities, the SP said.
SP Arora added that police were yet to get the details of the money and the gifts the juvenile had collected using those accounts.
"Further investigation into the matter is on," he said.
Earlier, the minor had allegedly hacked the Facebook account of Sambalpur MLA Jayanarayan Mishra and demanded money from different persons, who were on the friend list of the BJP leader, officials said.
Moreover, he and his father had also allegedly taken Rs 2.97 lakh cash from Manoranjan Panigarhi of Ramjimandir Pada under the pretext of providing him a petrol pump, they said.
The minor was apprehended in both the cases, but continued to commit similar offences after he was released on bail, they added.
The accused is taking advantage as he is a CCL (Child in Conflict with Law) and knowingly committing crimes in violation of the conditions of the court, police said.
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