Irani gang's sleight of hand in South Mumbai

Police on the lookout for slick thieves who make a killing by distracting cashiers and shopkeepers

Police Officers in South Mumbai have a new challenge to crack — a gang of slick Iranian nationals who have been duping unassuming suspects across banks and stores using good old haath ki safai. In the most recent incident, the gang targeted a foreign exchange company in Fort. The MRA Marg police station has registered an FIR under Section 420 (Cheating) and 34 (Common Intentions) against two unidentified persons in the matter. A police officer said, “A few of the gang’s members are already in jail. Once they are released, they are sure to dupe people again.” The officer added, “They use sleight of hand and are known to pocket money from the possession of victims without them realising something is amiss.”

In an incident dated February 16, the gang worked their magic at UAE Exchange And Finance Ltd. Company, which has a branch at Old Custom house. The complainant in the case is identified as Pushpendra Bihari, 26, cashier at the company. Bihari said, “It was 3.20 pm when the incident took place. Business was dull. Just then, two men entered. One was about 25 years old and the other must have been 45. They came in posing as father and son.”

According to the police, the accused wanted two 50 dollar notes in exchange of a 100 dollar note. While the cashier got busy tending to them, the accused continued to chat with him. In the meanwhile, they slid away 26 notes of 100 dollars without the cashier noticing. He realised funds were short only when winding up at the end of the day.

Past incidents
>> In January this year, a similar incident occurred at a bank in Fort. An Iranian duped the cashier of R46,000 while talking to him about fake notes.

>> Last December, an Iranian was arrested red-handed while attempting to rob a businessman in Pydhonie. Rahim Ohmed Ali Gharenepur, 40, entered businessman Parvez Kunda’s garment store but was caught when Kunda recognised him from the CCTV footage of the first robbery, where he had stolen R25,000 for Kunda’s other shop at Claire Road in Byculla.

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