Nadupatti Mani, personal assistant to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy, was arrested early on the morning of Sunday, November 28 on charges of cheating a Cuddalore resident of Rs 17 lakh with the promise of securing a government job.
It was reported in The New Indian Express earlier this year that Mani had scammed a total of 32 individuals with the same promise when the AIADMK was in power. The Salem District Crime Branch (DCB) had registered a case under IPC 120 B (punishment for criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) against Mani and a second accused, G Selvakumar, based on a complaint filed by one of the affected persons, Tamilselvan from Neyveli.
Today, Salem Superintendent of Police Sree Abhinav, led by DCB Deputy Superintendent AV Elamurugan, arrested Mani near Theevattipatti. Mani had lost an appeal last month for anticipatory bail from a Salem district court and was absconding since.
Tamilselvan had alleged that Mani and Selvakumar had taken Rs 17 lakh from him with the promise of getting him an assistant engineer job in the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC). When the duo failed to keep their promise, Tamilselvan demanded they return his money but he allegedly got back only Rs 4 lakh. According to the Times of India, Tamilselvan further alleged that Mani and Selvakumar threatened him when he asked for the remaining Rs 11 lakh.
Selvakumar had reportedly told the police that Mani had instructed him and a friend, C Sivakumar, to collect money from 32 people who were looking for government jobs. The New Indian Express quoted Selvakumar as saying, â€śWe collected Rs 1.37 crore from 32 persons and handed it over to Mani in 2019-20. We collected Rs 3 lakh for clerk posts and Rs 15 lakh for APRO and AE in TNEB posts.â€ť
Mani had served as personal assistant to EPS for 10 years.