Officials from Crime Branch Unit 5 nabbed a duo for targeting businessmen for the last four years on the pretext of selling smuggled gold at dirt-cheap rates.
Acting on a tip-off, officials nabbed Ejaz Khan (33) and Bahadur Anwarali Shaikh alias Chotu (26) from their residences in Kurla last Friday. Both were booked under sections 420 (cheating) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance) of the IPC and were handed over to the Kurla police.
The cops said the duo would first approach their targets with an offer of selling smuggled gold at throwaway prices. They would initially offer a real piece of gold to their victims, following which they would set a meeting to sell the remaining consignment.
On the day of the deal, they would get their accomplices to pose as cops and conduct a fake raid, in which the gold and the victims’ money would be taken into custody. Senior Inspector Netaji Bhopale from Unit 5 said, “Khan and Shaikh are the masterminds and have been targeting businessmen with the help of their accomplices.
They were arrested following a complaint filed by a real estate agent from Dombivli. She had filed a case against the accused at the Kurla police station.” The two men were in constant touch with estate agent Vijayshree Shah since Dece-mber 2013, but lost contact with her after they was arrested by the Bhandup police in January 2014 for their alleged involvement in a similar case. “On the day they were bailed out, they contacted Shah.” Bhopale said.
They later met Shah and gave her a piece of gold. “When the piece tested positive, they offered to sell a kilogram of gold for as little as Rs 2 lakh. The accused said they banked on their targets’ greed to secure kilos of gold for very little money,” Bhopale added. As per the plan, they asked Shah to meet them near Kalpana theatre in Kurla on July 7, and got the meeting raided by their accomplices.
After managing to ‘evade arrest’ by the fake cops, Khan and Shaikh assured Shah that they would refund the amount she had lost during the raid. But as time passed, they started ignoring her calls. Suspecting that she was probably conned, Shah registered a case at the Kurla police station on July 25.