Mumbai: Businessman duped of lakhs after being handed fake notes
Colaba police arrest man trying to palm off fake currency to victims after getting one of them to transfer the money, on the lookout for two other accused; officers suspect interstate gang cheating people in the name of business
Two Amritsar businessmen were cheated of Rs 10 lakh by three men in Mumbai last week; the Colaba police have arrested one of them and are on the lookout for the other two. Officers suspect it may be an interstate gang that cheats people under the guise of business deals. The police arrested one Edvin Pinto, 53, on Friday for allegedly cheating Amit Baldevraj, 42, and his business partner Piyush Mahajan, both of whom make plastic granules.
Baldevraj told the police, "A year ago, a man who identified himself as Asif had contacted me and said he could get me plastic scrap for cheap as he had contacts at Mumbai port. I didn't have the money then, so I refused. He called me again on April 4 (2018), and this time, I said yes."
Baldevraj and Mahajan landed in Mumbai and booked themselves in a five-star hotel in Colaba. Asif and another person came to meet them there. When Baldevraj said he wanted to buy plastic scrap worth R10 lakh, Asif told him he would have to pay in cash. The businessman told him he could transfer the money into his account via RTGS and he (Asif) could find someone to give him (Baldevraj) the cash.
An officer said, "Asif said he knew someone (Pinto) who could give him Rs 10 lakh cash, and took the two businessmen to a bar to meet the person." Pinto arrived with a huge plastic bag full of cash and told Baldevraj that he would take Rs 10,000 commission for this, which the latter agreed to. Pinto then gave him the number of his son's bank account, into which Baldevraj transferred the money with the help of his friend in Amritsar. He showed the debit message from his bank to Pinto, but the latter said he would wait for a confirmation from his son and then hand over the cash.
In the meanwhile, Asif left and called Baldevraj after sometime to tell him that the seller had cancelled the deal, said the police, adding that the businessman told Pinto to come with him to his bank, so that he could deposit the Rs 10 lakh cash back into his own account. Pinto, however, kept delaying, saying he was still waiting to hear from his son. Getting suspicious, Baldevraj asked Pinto to show him the money; inside were wads of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes, but Baldevraj thought the notes looked fake.
He and Mahajan caught hold of Pinto and, with the help of a local, got in touch with the Colaba police, who arrived at the spot and took all of them to the police station. Dr Manojkumar Sharma, DCP zone I, told mid-day, "When our officers checked the note bundles, they found colour Xerox copies of Rs 2,000 notes, children bank notes and blank paper. A case was immediately registered against the accused, and Pinto was arrested on the spot." "We have frozen the bank account in which Pinto had made Baldevraj transfer the money. There are crores in it. Pinto is in police custody till April 12. We are searching for Asif and his friend," said another officer.
Commission the accused took from the victim
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