He used luxury sedans, designer wear and social networking sites and duped people , reports

D. Karthikeyan

In what can be termed a prized catch, the Madurai district police have nabbed a hi-profile “criminal” who has used sophisticated gadgets, luxury sedans, designer wear and social networking sites and duped people of making them film stars and models. He even defrauded some of the business firms with his eloquent style.

M. Manohar, Superintendent of Police, said that the person calling himself ‘Balaji' had approached the Manager of a cinema hall on New Natham Road.

He introduced himself as the managing director of Sree Group supplying hi-tech audio systems to theatres.

He convinced manager S. Manikandan by showing many flashy photographs of the equipment installed in various cinema halls. The manager paid an advance of Rs.10,000.

However, when he tried to call Balaji on his mobile to enquire about the delivery time, he found out that it was a fake mobile phone number.

Mr. Manikandan went out in search of him and found him near Tiruppalai. When he asked him to come to the cinema hall, he abused and manhandled. He even tried to strangulate him.

Following this, Mr. Manikandan lodged a complaint at Oomachikulam Police Station and the police swiftly swung into action and caught him at Mattuthavani Integrated Bus Stand and recovered Rs.10, 000. The police also recovered a laptop, hi-end mobile phones, including a blackberry and a cash of Rs.80, 000.

Additional Superintendent of Police A. Myilvaganan said that Balaji has hoodwinked people with his communication skills, forged documents, including fake letterheads and stylish visiting cards.

He has used morphed photographs, including that of luxury cars and has uploaded them on his social networking site profile.

He had taken pictures from various internet sources to claim that he owns coal mines and helicopters, the SP said.

Mr. Manohar appreciated the police team that cracked a high-profile white collar criminal.

“This incident should be an eye-opener to residents of Madurai. They should be aware of the range of modern forms of crime, especially white collar crimes,” said Mr. Myilvahanan.