The crime sleuths busted a network of ‘fake ayurvedic practitioners’ and nabbed their leader with nearly Rs. 9 lakh worth property at Mallamgunta Cross near 150 Bypass Road, on the outskirts of Tirupati on Saturday.

According to sources, G.V. Kumar alias Siddhanna (37), hailing from Belgaum district of Karnataka, was reportedly responsible for running a network of ‘fake ayurvedic practitioners’ in the temple city and several major cities for the past five years.

His modus operandi was to identify elderly people with the help of his accomplice Ravi and a dedicated team of 10 members in various localities in the city, especially in the surroundings of the S.V. Ayurvedic Hospital. While the team members search for potential customers, Kumar and Ravi focus on coordinating their work.

“They spot people with illness, particularly the elderly, and offer to introduce them to the doctors who had cured their relatives’ health issues with ayurvedic medicines. Once they succeed in convincing a patient, they further deploy the others in their team playing the roles of doctors, relatives etc. and slowly siphon off huge sums of money,” said R. Ravi Shankar Reddy, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Tirupati Crime Sub-division.

Fake papers

Mr. Reddy said to establish trust, the accused present fake receipts, identity cards, ayurvedic medicines etc. to gullible people. They collect exorbitant sums for medicines which they claim were procured by Siddhanna from the Himalayas.

The police seized cash, ayurvedic medicines (both real and fake) and a four-wheeler, all worth Rs. 9,09,500, from the accused and sent him in remand.

The police earlier arrested two persons of the gang. Nine case have been registered against them in various police stations.

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