Mumbai crime: Swindlers take man on temple tour, loot Rs 1.5 lakh

The victim claims that he was hypnotised by the two men, who later robbed him while they were touring temples in the area

Two swindlers are on the run after allegedly looting a senior citizen in Charkop of R1.5 lakh after hypnotising him while going around temples to make donations. The thieves had approached the victim on the pretext of getting directions to the temples.

The victim, 68-year-old Michael Demello, a real estate businessman and a Charkop resident, lost two gold rings and a chain worth Rs 1.5 lakh. The incident took place on December 5 at 12.15 pm when Demello was near Charkop bus depot, on his way to meet a friend. A young man, about 25 years of age, called out to him.

"He was well dressed. He was wearing gold rings on his fingers. He called me and said that he is a goldsmith from Ghatkopar and is here to donate to some temples. But, since he is new to the area, he does not know where they are located." Demello said.

The man informed the victim that he has made a vow, and he needs to visit several temples, churches and mosques to donate. Demello says he gave directions to the young man, but he asked him to accompany him to the places. Demello agreed and started walking with him.

Demello says, “After visiting two to three temples, I don’t know what happened to me. I lost consciousness. When I regained consciousness I found that my chain and rings were missing.”

Describing the victims, he says, “They were two boys. One was with me and the other one was following us on a scooter. I believe they had been following me from 2 to 3 days. I don’t know what they did to me. My happiness has disappeared. I have pain in my whole body. Due to the pain, I can’t sleep at night. My physical strength has also gone.”

An FIR in the matter has been registered with the Charkop police station. Police officials say that they are checking the CCTV footage of the temple and nearby areas but they have not got a breakthrough as yet. They said that they are continuing their investigation in the case.

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