The city police arrested 19 persons allegedly involved in cases of stealing big sums of money after distracting their victims and for circulating fake currency notes.

All the suspects hail from Trichy in Tamil Nadu and have various cases registered against them across Ashok Nagar, Wilson Garden, S.J. Park and Sadashivanagar police stations. The police believe many citizens have fallen victim to their attention-diversion tactics before losing their money to them.

The police also seized fake Rs. 500 currency notes with a face value of Rs. 2.4 lakh from them.

According to the police, they have been involved in similar cases in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and West Bengal as well.

The accused men have been identified as Dinakaran (23), Ayyappan (34), Rukman (35), Shafiullah (21) and Shanmugam (50), who have cases booked against them in Ashok Nagar police station limits; Rajkamal, Guna Chandran (27), Jagadeesh (61), Elil Kumar (25) under Wilson Garden police station; Loganathan (34), Lokeshwaran (24), Manikandan (28), Ganeshan (50) and Jayaraman (70) under S.J Park police station limits; and Delhi Rajan (25), Sunil Kumar (34), Anandan (57), David (47) under Sadashivnagar police station limits. The 19th suspect is a juvenile.

The police also identified 40 cases of attention diversion in Bangalore city where the suspects had stolen mobile phones and laptops along with cash and recovered at least Rs. 7 lakh in connection with 19 such cases which they cracked.

Modus operandi

A typical operation by the men would be to drop a Rs.10 currency note in front of people with briefcases and other bags and draw their attention to the fallen note. When the unsuspecting victim leaves his bag unguarded to pick up the note, the tricksters make away with it.

They would also approach people sitting alone in parked cars and drop a Rs. 10 note nearby, and gesture to them about the fallen money. When the trusting victim gets out of the car to pick up the note, the other associates would move in smoothly to surreptitiously remove any cash and valuables from the car, the police said.

At the press conference to announce the arrest, the police showed CCTV footage when one such operation was pulled off in perfect orchestration. The target was a man who had just emerged from the bank with a bag of cash. A gang member taps him on the shoulder saying he has dropped some money and strides on. Even as the unsuspecting man turns around to retrieve it, a young gang member sidles up smoothly to lift the bag and vanish with it. Even then the man doesn’t immediately realise he has been conned. By the time he does, it’s too late and the gang, presumably, is laughing all the way to another bank.

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