Jewellers said he offered to pay in dollars and when they refused he said he would come back; however, he had already pocketed the diamond rings and never returned
A foreign national is taking unsuspecting jewellers in the city for a ride by swindling them of rings and other expensive jewellery by posing as a high-net worth individual. With two cases reported in Vashi and in CBD Belapur, the cops are on the lookout for the conman who was caught on CCTV cameras duping gullible jewellers.
Caught in the act: A CCTV grab of the foreign national pocketing
The jewellers have approached the cops seeking action against the sweet talking foreign national. They informed the police that a slim white man around six feet entered their shops on the pretext of buying diamond rings.
After selecting the ring, he offered to pay in dollars. When the jewellers refused, he said he would return.
During the conversation, however, he had managed to pocket one of the rings and never came back. "Seeing foreigners, jewellers assume that they have got a good customer and go out of their way to display their wares. This particular individual cons them due to their naivety and flees with the booty," said Nitin Patil, police inspector at CBD Belapur police station.
Police at the crime scene
The first incident was reported at Mahalaxmi Jewellers at Sector 17 in Vashi last afternoon. The foreign national entered the shop owned by Laxman Kothari and on the pretext of buying a diamond ring started asking for a variety of rings. While observing the rings he managed to keep one of them aside and asked the shopkeeper whether he would accept payment in US dollars.
When the owner refused, he told him that he would come by later. Kothari only realised, later, that he had been conned of a Rs 45,000-ring and registered a complaint with the Vashi police. In the second incident on the same day in Sector 8 of CBD Belapur, the accused approached Mayura Jewellers in the evening and adopted the same modus operandi.
"In this shop too, the accused entered on the pretext of buying a ring and managed to flee with another diamond ring worth a lakh. On seeing the CCTV footage at Mahalaxmi and Mayura jewellery stores we have identified him to be the same person," said Patil.
The police are also verifying claims of another robbery at a jewellery shop in Wadala, where a similar act was carried out. The police have launched a manhunt for the foreign national and have alerted all jewellers in the area.
Heist from the past
In August, this year, Dubai police arrested five foreign nationals-- Guerrero Lugo Elvia Grissel (24), Campos Molan Elias (39), Gonzalez Madlonado Mauricio (24) hailing from Mexico and Gutierez Orlando of Venezuela -- who were escaping after robbing Rs 66 cr worth diamonds from the India International Jewellery Show at NSE ground in Goregaon. The accused were sent back to Mumbai and are in police custody.