Chandni Chheda (grey T-shirt) and Chetan Parmar (extreme right) were called to the Charkop police station on Sunday to collect their belongings
These may be the only thieves whose victims requested them to come home and paid them to take away all their belongings. The Charkop police have busted a gang of robbers ingeniously posing as staffers of a movers-and-packers firm, who take off with furniture, electronics and all other valuables, never to be seen again.
Head of the gang, Gopal Bishnoi, is a 19-year-old
In the last month alone, cops have come across three such cases where families lost all their possessions after the movers and packers sold it in the second-hand market. The police have arrested the ringleader of the operation.
Chandni Chheda (in grey) and Chetan Parmar (in yellow) were called to Charkop police station to collect their belongings yesterday; (inset) the ringleader, Gopal Bishnoi
Victims were impressed
The most recent victim was Charkop resident Chandni Chheda (30), who was moving to her hometown in Kutch last month. She called a popular telephone directory service and asked for contact details of movers and packers. She soon received a call from Gopal Krishna Packers.
On April 30, the company's staffers came and packed all her possessions, giving her a receipt under the name of Sahara Packers. Their professional conduct gave Chheda no reason to suspect them.
"But when I tried calling the company, the number was switched off. I decided to be patient, since the company had promised to deliver my belongings in three days to the Kutch location. But, my worst fears came true," she recalled.
Chheda then approached the Charkop police and registered a case. As it turned out, she wasn't the only one conned by the company. Ghatkopar resident Chetan Parmar too had fallen prey while moving to Baroda. On April 27, the accused left with his belongings, including his motorbike, all of which amounted to R2 lakh. "Soon after, their phone number was switched off. Even after three days, my belongings had not reached. I registered a complaint with the Pantanagar police," said Parmar, a software engineer.
How they were busted
Yesterday, Parmar and Chheda were finally called to the Charkop police station, after the crooks were nabbed and some of their belongings were found. Chheda got 70% of her possessions back after the cops found them in a godown in Naigaon. Parmar wasn't as lucky.
The police have detained three loaders from the company and arrested the main accused, while his associates are at large. Apart from Chheda and Parmar, the cops had also received a third complaint from a victim who was moving to Australia.
"Till date, three victims have emerged. But, looking at the modus operandi, many more cases will pour in as we proceed with investigations. In all the cases, when we checked the CCTV footage, the accused were the same," said an officer.
"We have detained a few loaders and arrested the ringleader Gopal Bishnoi (19) from Naigaon," the officer added. Bishnoi was booked under Sections 408 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.