‘Friendship club’ promoter held for duping people


Lucknow : The promoter of a local ‘friendship club’ was arrested here Wednesday for swindling money from people by making false promises of helping them make friends and get jobs. He got the idea of duping people after he was deceived in a similar manner.

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The Special Task Force (STF) nabbed 32-year-old Shyam Naresh Srivastava from one of his several addresses here after many people lodged complaints of being duped by him. The STF sleuths discovered more than a dozen bank accounts held by him under different identities as well as various debit and credit cards.

“We have found about half a million rupees in his bank accounts, documents relating to his several bank accounts, a number of ATM cards, cheque books, two PAN cards, fake stamps of different transport offices, nine SIM cards along with a motor-cycle,” Ajay Mohan Sharma, STF senior superintendent of police, told IANS.

Giving details of Srivastava’s modus operandi, Sharma said: “He used to issue advertisements in prominent newspapers about his so-called Newlife Friendship Club. He would collect a registration fee of Rs.7,000 to Rs.10,000 from each of the applicants who were promised friendship with someone of the opposite sex as well as a suitable job.”

He had been carrying on the clandestine business for more than a year now.

“Srivastava has confessed that he got the idea to dupe people in this manner after he was himself taken for a ride by some similar friendship club,” Sharma added.