Mumbai Crime: Crooks who pulled off a 'scientific' con arrested

Updated: Oct 05, 2019, 07:56 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

Gang would convince people to invest in testing a device that they claimed would be sold to agencies such as ISRO, NASA and DRDO

The documents, posters etc seized from the accused
The documents, posters etc seized from the accused

Unit 11 of the Mumbai Crime Branch arrested a gang of five recently that duped people to invest in testing a device that they claimed would be sold to agencies such as ISRO, NASA and DRDO. According to the police, the fraudsters even dressed up to appear as scientists and met investors in five-star hotels.

Crime Branch officials said the scam has been fooling people across the globe. In the name of a device called a 'rice puller' (a metal device that can pull rice grains), fraudsters cheat people saying agencies like ISRO and DRDO were willing to purchase it from Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 35,000 crore, if its genuineness was proved after testing.

Vikas Singh and Shivaji Tiwari

Bizman invested over a crore

"So far we have got 13 complainants, one of them is a businessman from Navi Mumbai who invested around Rs 1.35 crore for the testing, and was assured that if the product was proved genuine during testing, he would be paid around R200 crore. The fraudsters have managed to forge documents of the defence ministry and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)," said DCP Akbar Pathan of Mumbai Crime Branch. Police said the total amount invested by the 13 complainants is Rs 2.15 crore.

The arrested accused were identified as Vikas Kameshvar Singh, 49, the mastermind who hails from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand; Kaleem Nizam Sheikh, 38, Viblab Haran De, 40, Sajid Allah Rakkhi Sheikh, 48, and Shivaji Vijay Shankar Tiwari, 32.

Kaleem Sheikh and Viplab De

"The accused formed a company called Franklin Power Material Handling Center and Supremo International Center to lure investors. They would claim that these companies are interested in getting investments in the metal device known as rice puller. The company website is well-designed and only selected people and the investors can access it," Pathan added.

What is a rice puller

According to officials, fraudsters have invented the rice puller to fool investors. They take a copper plate or utensil and coat it with liquid magnet. They fill the utensil which has small iron wires, with boiled rice and fool people by pulling the rice towards the magnet-coated plate.

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