Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: A gang that duped over 300 people in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Assam on the pretext of installing mobile phone signal towers at their premises against handsome annual rentals has been smashed by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police. Seven people, including three young women, have been arrested.

The Inter-State Cell of the Crime Branch received a complaint from Hiremath of Belgaum in Karnataka alleging that a Delhi-based company, Metro Network, having its office at Raja Garden had duped him by making false promises of installing a signal tower on his property.

A police team raided the company office and arrested seven persons. Rubber stamps, fake letterheads, SIM cards, mobile phones, application forms, bank documents, forged survey and sanction letters were seized from the premises. The accused were identified as Manoj Sharma, his brother-in-law Rajender, Krishan Kumar, Sanjay, Ruchika Yadav, Neha Grover and Asha Luthra.

During interrogation, the accused purportedly disclosed that Manoj was the mastermind behind the racket.

He earlier ran a tube-light choke manufacturing unit, but three months ago he, Rajender and the latter’s friend Ruchika allegedly conspired to float a firm, Metro Network, and cheat people on the pretext of installing Airtel signal towers.

Manoj got advertisements published in local newspapers of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Assam asking people to apply for installation of the towers and hoardings on their properties and earn Rs. 2 to 3 lakh per year. Manoj also roped in his business partner Krishan, who was sent to Maharashtra on numerous occasions for “site inspections”.

Lured by the prospect of making easy money, a large number of people contacted the accused. Their calls were attended by Ruchika and her helps, Neha and Asha, who are fluent in English.