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Mumbai crime: 'Smooth talker' conned Rs 2 lakh from bank customers

The accused prowls outside Mahanagar Co-operative Bank branches, notices his victims, gains information about them and persuades them to part with the cash

‘Be wary of a smooth talker,’ warns the Pydhonie police as they are on the hunt for a man who has been duping customers of Mahanagar Co-operative Bank. According to Inspector Avinash Shingte from Pydhonie police station, the unidentified accused has been duping people for the last year or so and picks his victims by roaming outside the bank premises and notices the comings and goings of his potential victims. He then manages somehow to get information about them and then approaches his to-be victims, convinces them to part with the money and then flees the spot (See modus operandi in box).

The first incident took place outside the Kalachowkie branch last year. He struck again last week at the Pydhonie branch of the bank. In the first incident, he duped a man of Rs 1.5 lakh, while in last week’s case he was able to con Ajnikya Lad, working at a goods transport agency, of Rs 45,000.

When asked if a staffer of the bank was involved in the con, Shingte said, “Considering the accused has been targeting customers of this bank, one would think that a staffer is involved. However, we do not believe that a staffer is involved.”

The cops are looking for the accused, who has been booked under IPC Section 420.

Modus operandi

>> The accused is a smooth talker and approaches the victims outside the bank on the pretext of knowing the victim’s employer

>> He then asks the victim to part with the cash and come pick up the money from his office, near the bank, added an investigation officer.

>> In case, the victim asks the accused for some confirmation, he calls a number and hands over the phone to the victim, saying his (victim’s) employer is on the other line. The accomplice pretends to be the employer and directs the victim to hand over the money

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