MUMBAI: The city crime branch probing the fake influencer racket involving celebrities and Bollywood personalities on Tuesday arrested another proprietor of a social media company who was providing fake followers, views, subscribers and likes to profiles on various social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Facebook for monetary gains.
The special investigation team (SIT) arrested one Perminder Sharma (45) , a resident of Mira Road in Thane, who is the proprietor of several portals connected to the racket. Sharma has worked in two TV channels in creative and animation departments in the past 15 years and had recently started his own portals.
Sharma is the third person to be arrested in the case and several portal companies as well social media companies have been questioned by the police.
Sharma will be produced before the court on Wednesday.
Earlier, police had arrested two portal owners – Abhishek Dawre and Mansoor Kashif Tanvar – in July.
Sharma is suspected to have completed approximately 25,000 orders resulting in lakhs of followers/views/likes etc.
His payment transactions were reflected in the investigation of earlier arrested accused person Kashif Tanwar.
Rapper Aditya Pratik Singh Sisodia alias Badshah told police that he had allegedly paid a sum of Rs 75 lakh to a social media company to increase views and likes of his album ‘Pagal’.
Police had questioned the company’s CEO and other officials and are still analysing their role.
Last year, Sisodia claimed a record 75 million views a day after he had posted the video ‘Pagal’ on YouTube.
The case came to light after singer Bhoomi Trivedi complained that someone opened a fictitious Instagram account in her name.