Culprit has been selling soap bars packaged to look like phones

Would you purchase a washing soap for Rs. 8,000? Some passengers on a train leaving Chennai Central railway station were conned into purchasing the commodity, packaged to look like a high-end phone.

The conman mainly targets migrant labourers leaving for Bihar and other north-eastern States. This is the first time such a con is being pulled off in Chennai, say police sources.

Police sources said the culprit kept a track of passengers and approached them 15 minutes before the train’s scheduled departure.

“The culprit first purchases a high-end phone at a cheap price from contacts in the black market. He packs it in a purse and tries to sell it to a group of migrant workers. He bargains till there are only few minutes for the train to depart and then sells the phone for a huge profit,” said a source.

When the train is just about to depart, he shows another passenger a soap bar in a purse, packaged to look like a phone, and quotes a much lower price.

“Some passengers, who had been witness to the initial sales, made the purchase, believing it to be real. But by the time they opened the purse, the train would have started moving and the conman would have fled with the money,” said the source.

The conman either shapes a soap bar to resemble a phone or keeps it inside a dummy phone so that it feels heavy.

“We are searching for the culprit. But we want to warn passengers not to fall prey to such cons,” said the source.

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