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Mumbai: Bandra GRP busts inter-state fraud gang

Updated on: 10 July,2024 07:03 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Samiullah Khan |

Gang duped travellers by selling fake government-approved cards; two arrested, cash and valuables recovered

Mumbai: Bandra GRP busts inter-state fraud gang

The accused in police custody

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Mumbai: Bandra GRP busts inter-state fraud gang

The Bandra GRP Crime Branch has exposed an inter-state fraud gang that deceived passengers at railway stations and bus stands. The gang’s modus operandi involved convincing passengers that a special government-approved railway and bus card was mandatory for those travelling with dollars from abroad. They charged R10,000 per card, claiming it was necessary for travel. On the pretext of making travel cards and currency cards, the accused also obtained people’s mobile phones, dollars, and debit cards, then absconded and later used the cards to clear out their bank accounts.

One of the gang’s victims, Deepak Thakur, a merchant navy worker, was targeted at Mumbai Central station last month. Thakur arrived from Egypt at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai and went to Mumbai Central station to board the Golden Temple Train. He was allegedly duped of 2,500 dollars by the accused. Following his complaint, GRP officials launched an investigation under the guidance of their senior officers.

Nazrul Jamshed Ali Shaikh (right) Iqbal alias Saddam Mushtaque Khan, the accused
Nazrul Jamshed Ali Shaikh (right) Iqbal alias Saddam Mushtaque Khan, the accused

Under the supervision of Bandra GRP Senior Inspector Arshuddin Shaikh and Police Inspector Rohit Sawant, API Abhijeet Bhupendra Telor and his team began the investigation. They traced the accused from CCTV footage, leading to the arrest of two active gang members. The cops recovered cash and valuables worth approximately R3.04 lakh, including dollars, from the arrested individuals.

The accused have been identified as Nazrul Jamshed Ali Shaikh, 32, and Iqbal alias Saddam Mushtaque Khan, 34. Shaikh hails from West Bengal, while Khan is from UP. During interrogation, the GRP solved similar cases with the same modus operandi that were registered in Kurla, Thane, Dadar, and CSMT stations.

Modus operandi

Their scheme targets passengers by claiming a new government regulation requires a special card for train travel. One gang member informs the target, while another pretends to be a passenger who was fined for not having the card. This second member pays R10,000 and receives a fake card, convincing the target to do the same. The gang then disappears with the money.

The fake currency card used by the accused
The fake currency card used by the accused

They used this tactic on Thakur, taking his dollars and leaving a bag, promising to return with the card. After a long wait, Thakur realised he was cheated and contacted the police. The gang frequently changes locations and is active at railway ticket counters, stations, and bus stands. Police tracked and arrested them using CCTV footage and mobile data records. They are now seeking information about other accomplices.

“We have arrested the duo and recovered cash, including dollars and Indian currency, and valuables worth about R3,04,720. We are currently searching for the other gang members,” said an officer.

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