A victim told the police she paid him Rs. 14 lakh for an idol, while another in Kasaragod is believed to have paid Rs. 1 crore.

The Mangalore city police have caught a 39-year-old man from Banakal in Chikmagalur district who allegedly cheated people by selling them fake antique idols. A victim told the police she paid him Rs. 14 lakh for an idol, while another in Kasaragod is believed to have paid Rs. 1 crore.

According to police, Sadiq from Banakal in Chikmagalur and his associate Abdul Razak Faizi were buying idols from a store in Car Street in Mangalore. These idols would be smeared with cow dung and then buried in mud to give it an antique look. These discoloured idols were being taken out after 15 days and sold as antique idols to prospective buyers.

On Tuesday, a woman lodged a complaint with the Mangalore South police that she had been cheated of Rs. 14 lakh by a person who has sold her idols that are not antique in nature. The Central Crime Branch (CCB) detectives caught Sadiq on Wednesday by posing as prospective antique idol buyers.

CCB Inspector Venkatesh Prasanna told reporters on Wednesday that Sadiq had cheated a person from Banakal in a similar way by selling an idol for Rs. 9 lakh for which he had been arrested. After getting out on bail, Sadiq moved to Ujire in Dakshina Kannada.

The CCB has recovered 14 idols from Sadiq. They are searching for Sadiq’s accomplice Faizi.

Mr. Prasanna said the accused and his accomplice divided the money between them.

A part of the amount was spent on purchase an expensive television set and other household electronic gadgets. He said police would take the permission of the jurisdictional court to recover articles purchased out of the money received from the complainant in Mangalore.

Mr. Prasanna said Sadiq confessed to cheating a person in Kasaragod to the tune of nearly Rs. 1 crore.

However, details of the victims or any registered case on that are unavailable.

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