Online fraud busted: How these conmen replaced mobile phones with soap bars

Feb 13, 2018, 19:31 IST | Faisal Tandel

If you've ever got a soap bar or stones instead of the phone you ordered from a reputed shopping site, the four people arrested by the Bhiwandi unit of Thane Crime Branch on February 11

Representational picture
Representational picture

If you've ever got a soap bar or stones instead of the phone you ordered from a reputed shopping site, the four people arrested by the Bhiwandi unit of Thane Crime Branch on February 11, for stealing 57 high-end mobile phones, could be responsible for it. The cops are trying to find out if they are connected to the racket. The police said the arrested have been identified as Umesh Gulavi, 22, Sachin Patale, 32, Sandeep Saraf, 28, and Maqbool Rafiq Badabhaya, 19. "Gulavi worked as a delivery boy with a courier company, where Badabhaya was a driver. Both Patale and Saraf are ex-employees of an online shopping site," said a crime branch officer.

Also read - Mumbai Crime: Man held for replacing online orders with bricks, slippers

Booty seized
The four were arrested after an employee of the courier company, Mangesh Mohite, lodged a complaint with the Narpoli police. Mohite has alleged the accused stole 267 mobile phones worth Rs 24.43 lakh. However, the cops have recovered 57 sets from them worth Rs 7.95 lakh, three laptops worth Rs 74,679 and a car worth Rs 1 lakh. "The accused were produced in court and sent to police custody till February 17," said S Raut, senior inspector.

Abhishek Trimukhe, DCP, crime branch, said, "It was found that when a particular shop ordered 25 phones online, the boys would remove four to five sets from the box and seal it. The person in charge of checking the packet would confirm receiving all phones. Then, the package would be sold to the shop. Employees of the site might be involved."

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