Mumbai Local

Up to a dozen gangs running ‘dollar bill scams’ in city

The mastermind of the ‘dollar bill scam’, arrested on Monday by the DB Marg police, has revealed that there are at least 10 to 12 more such gangs running a similar scam in Mumbai. The police have initiated inquiries into this aspect and are trying to identify and apprehend the gangs.

The scam, busted with the arrest of Salim Khan (28) on Monday, involves offering to sell US currency at a rate lower than the ongoing market price to unsuspecting victims, who are given bags filled with blank paper in an elaborate con job. The con men include an accomplice pretending to be mentally challenged and others pretending to be policemen.

“During preliminary questioning, Khan said that up to a dozen gangs are running a similar scam in Mumbai, Thane, and Navi Mumbai. He told the investigators that while he is aware of such gangs, they have an honour system in which they never contact each other so that the arrest of one gang does not endanger the others, an officer with the DB Marg police station told The Hindu . Investigating officials said that such gangs often go undetected as their victims are hesitant to approach the police. “The victims are conned into believing that they are committing a serious offence by buying foreign currency at a lower rate and hence avoid approaching us after they are conned. Only a few of them complain to the police,” another officer said.

Khan has allegedly confessed to having pulled off the scam at least 20 to 25 times since 2014, cheating various people to the tune of anything between Rs 20,000 to Rs 2 lakh. He was remanded to judicial custody on Tuesday, and the police are now going through his call data record to identify and apprehend the remaining members of his gang.

“We are trying to find out where the accused procured the US currency that they used in the crime,” the officer said. “Even if they buy foreign currency from legitimate agents, they still make a huge profit by only selling one $20 bill to the victims to initially win their confidence, and then taking larger amounts from them in exchange for pieces of blank paper.”

Khan has allegedly confessed to having pulled off the scam 20 to 25 times since 2014

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 8:50:55 PM |

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