Robbers held for luring victims with 'roles on TV'

Jan 18, 2012, 08:17 IST | Shiva Devnath

Carrying cameras and fake IDs, the two would accost good-looking men, conduct 'auditions', call them back for further tests, spike their drinks, and then loot them

Carrying cameras and fake IDs, the two would accost good-looking men, conduct 'auditions', call them back for further tests, spike their drinks, and then loot them

In a city where thousands struggle to make it big on the small screen, it's a good idea to do a background check if a stranger appears out of nowhere and offers you a chance to act in a TV show.   

A police squad led by the additional commissioner of police (western region) has arrested two men for allegedly luring people with the false promise of giving them roles in TV shows, and looting them thereafter. Equipped with a camera and fake ID cards of a production company, the two conmen would regularly target unsuspecting victims in the Bandra Reclamation area.

The two accused have been identified as Nazim Sayed (23) a car mechanic, and Umesh Chaurasiya (24), a salesman living in Kurla. The duo was arrested on Monday.

According to the police, they got wind of the culprits when two friends -- gym instructor Varun Mishra and store-owner Kiran Yedgude, both residents of the Reclamation area, lodged a complaint against two unidentified men.

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In their complaint, they said that they had been accosted by two men who were wielding cameras and shooting footage of the spot. The duo approached the friends, complimented them on their looks and personal charm, and asked if they were interested in acting for a TV show. Sayed and Chaurasiya then snapped some photographs of the friends and handed them a visiting card, saying that they would be contacted if the director approved of the photographs.

Con-do attitude: The duo -- Umesh Chaurasiya (24), a salesman and
Nazim Sayed (23), a car mechanic � would dress in expensive clothes,
drive cars left behind by the latter's clients and scour upscale localities
for possible victims

Two days later, Kiran received a call from Sayed, informing him that he and his friend had been selected and would have to appear for a final audition at the same spot the following day.

The two friends duly reached the spot to be picked up by Sayed, who asked them to hop into the car he was driving and then offered them spiked soft drinks. Once they lost conscious- ness, the duo robbed them and fled.

Finding the two victims abandoned on the street, locals rushed them to the hospital. "The two were shown a few photos of some previously arrested offenders and identified the two culprits. We then alerted our informers in the area, who told us that the duo would return to the same spot in the Reclamation the following Monday.

We laid a trap and arrested the two," said Police Inspector Gyaneshwar Gavande from the special squad.

Cops revealed that Sayed, being a mechanic, had access to expensive automobiles, which he would drive
around in upscale locales like Charni Road and Bandra Reclamation, as he scoured the streets for expensively-dressed victims.

The officers handed over the two accused to the BKC police station for further proceedings. "We recovered gold worth Rs 80,000 that had been looted by the two," added Gavande.

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