The shadow police on Monday arrested a four-member gang on charge of cheating a Tripunithura-based woman by giving a bogus job appointment by masquerading as police officials. The accused reportedly made use of fake police identity cards to pull off their ploy. Shimon P. Paul, 33 and Bijoy Mathew, 26, both residents of Kottayam; Manu Francis, a resident of Mulavukad; and Raheesh, 35, a resident of Alinchuvadu; were among those arrested.
The first accused Shimon was ousted from his job as a traffic warden for misconduct. Bijoy and Manu had worked with him as traffic wardens.
Based on a previous acquaintance, Shimon rang up the complainant identifying himself as a staffer at the West Traffic Assistant Commissioner’s office. He said that there was a clerical vacancy in Kerala police while asking the complainant to send attested copies of her experience certificate and SSLC and Plus Two certificates if she was interested.
A week after sending the documents she received a document in response, which later emerged was a forged one. Shimon contacted her two days later stating that a copy of the order has to be collected from Thiruvananthapuram and volunteered to accompany her.
The accused took the complainant and her uncle to Fort Police station in Thiruvananthapuram. After asking them to wait outside, the accused went inside and returned with a letter which he claimed to be the order.
The accused rang up the complainant two days later for Rs. 50,000 as consideration for getting her the job. The complainant gave her gold ornaments as she had no money with her. The accused pledged the ornaments and soon absconded. Two days later, another person informed the complainant that the accused had met with an accident. The complainant lodged a complaint soon thereafter.
The arrest of Shimon revealed the involvement of the other three accused, including Raheesh, who works in an Internet café at Menaka, in plotting the plan and forging documents.
The first three accused are also alleged to have blackmailed traders at Ernakulam market after turning up in traffic wardens’ uniform.
They are also accused of having collected money in the guise of penalty from those who smoked publicly near the Ernakulam boat jetty. Complaints of forcefully collecting money from motorists have also emerged.
Following the instruction of City Police Commissioner K.G. James, a police team supervised by Deputy Police Commissioner Muhammed Rafeek arrested the accused.