Mumbai

With promise of U.S. dollars, man cheats people; held

The Crime Branch has arrested a 47-year-old man for allegedly cheating at least six men from Navi Mumbai, promising American dollars. The accused, identified as Mohammed Jehangir Mujahiddin Sheikh, who originally hails from Delhi, was nabbed from Shilphata on Saturday. The police suspect involvement of two more men in the crimes.

There was a rise in cases of people falling prey to such fraudsters. While the respective police stations were investigating, Unit III of the Crime Branch started parallel inquiries.

“With the help of CCTV footage in one of the incidents, we could identify the accused. With the help of informers we found that the person seen in the footage resided at Shilphata,” senior police inspector Vijay Kadbane from Unit III said.

A team of officers, including assistant police inspector Sagar Pawar and sub-inspector Sunil Sawant, laid a trap for four days at Shilphata. “It took us four days to locate the house of the accused. Once he was traced, we nabbed him. At the time of arrest, he was alone, but we are looking for his accomplices,” Mr. Pawar said.

Mr. Sheikh was wanted in six cases, of which two were registered with the Kharghar police, three with the Rabale police, and one with the APMC police. The total money the victims were cheated of is estimated at ₹11.5 lakh.

The modus operandi of Mr. Sheikh and his aides was to befriend anyone at a tea stall, waiters in hotels and autorickshaw drivers, and start a conversation. “The accused would then say that they were caretakers of a rich senior citizen who recently passed away. And the son of the deceased gave away a lot of belongings to them in which they found American dollars. They would then say that they didn’t know what should be done with those and were ready to exchange them for half the price,” Mr. Kadbane said.

When the complainants would meet the accused after arranging the money, they would give them a bundle wrapped in a cloth. “The first two notes would be real dollars while the rest would be plain papers,” he said.

Mr. Sheikh is currently in custody of the Kharghar police and further investigations are on.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 8:12:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/with-promise-of-us-dollars-man-cheats-people-held/article30796061.ece

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