Crook hunted victims using phone search engine
35-yr-old conman got traders' numbers from firm providing local search services over phone; gave them bogus cheques for orders
Officials of the Ghatkopar police station arrested 35-year-old Anand Dinesh Sheth on April 16 for cheating three people dealing in computer parts. The complainants had lodged a case against Sheth in March.
Narrating his tactics, Sheth said he secured the contact numbers of the dealers through a popular company providing local search services over the phone. “The representative would provide me with numbers whenever I would call the helpline to inquire about people dealing in computer parts. Later, I would get calls from the dealers as the company would forward them my inquiry.”
Sheth said he would first gain confidence of the victim and then request the dealer to accept a cheque for the order, as he was out of cash. “Three dealers approved my proposal of accepting payment through cheque. I then gave them my old residential address in Ghatkopar (East). The building is to be demolished soon. The dealers agreed to drop the products there.”
When asked from where he got the idea of conning people, Sheth said long ago he had called the same company to obtain the contact number of a movie theatre and after giving him details the representative asked him whether he wanted to know about anything else. “It struck me that I could use their service to get numbers of people dealing in computer parts,” Sheth said.
Once the products had reached the destination, Sheth would go and pick them up and hand over bogus cheques to the delivery boys. Police officials suspect that cheques given by Sheth were the ones he stole from his friends.
Police Inspector Rajkumar Kothmire of the Ghatkopar police station said, “The delivery boys would inform their superiors about the collection of cheques. It was only after the cheques bounced that the dealers realised that they had been conned.”
Sheth was arrested by a team comprising assistant inspector K S Mitbaukar, head constable D P Manchekar, police naik A V Masurkar and constables S A Patil and Shashi More from Bhatwadi in Ghatkopar (West) after the team received a tip-off about Sheth’s arrival in area. He had visited the area to meet his wife.
Mitbaukar said, “Though he claims to have conned just three dealers, we feel that there could be more victims. So we have sent messages to several police stations and are waiting for their response.” Sheth was booked under sections 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly, inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code. He was produced in the court on Tuesday, which remanded him in police custody till tomorrow.