A 55-year-old doctor from Kandivli was cheated to the tune of Rs 27 lakh by three fraudsters who promised to triple any amount of money she gave them by using a replicating chemical on the currency. The trio, now in police custody, had apparently showed her a demonstration of the process at a hotel in Lonavala.
The anti-extortion cell of the Mumbai Crime Branch arrested Pawan Singh, Abhishek Singh and Sarji for duping Dr Usha Suresh Mehta. According to the police, Mehta met Pawan Singh through a common friend who introduced her to the others. They promised to treble whatever money she gave to them.
“Accordingly, they also showed her a demonstration by turning Rs 1,000 into Rs 3,000 by applying a chemical at Hotel Dukes in Lonavala. The doctor believed them but they told her that they only accepted big orders so she would have to bring Rs 25 lakh, apparently because the chemical required had to be imported from Nepal. They then took Rs 2 lakh from the victim, supposedly to import the chemical,” said Police Inspector Sudhir Dalvi of the anti-extortion cell.
After taking the money, the victim and the accused went to Lonavala with Rs 25 lakh in cash, in the denomination of 1,000-rupee notes. The accused then exchanged her notes with fake currency, and told Mehta that they would have to import another chemical since the notes would burn with the one they had. The trio then made off with the cash.
After this, they started avoiding Mehta’s calls. The troubled doctor approached the Crime Branch, which set up a trap and arrested the three, who approached her again to collect more cash for “importing the chemical”. Inspector Dalvi said, “The trio had threatened her that they would complain to the income tax department if she complained.”