Maharashtra cops bust gang cheating scrap merchants; 4 held

Maharashtra cops bust gang cheating scrap merchants; 4 held

Palghar, Nov 9 (PTI) Police have arrested four persons after busting a gang allegedly involved in cheating scrap traders in Maharashtra and other places since 2017, officials said.

The police have recovered booty worth Rs 20 lakh from them and also seized 15 mobile phones and 10 ATM cards from their possession, they said.

On October 28, the Mandvi police in Palghar district received a complaint from a scrap merchant belonging to Bhavnagar in Gujarat that he was cheated of Rs 27.87 lakh by a person who told him that aluminium scrap material was available for sale at a company in Medhe village here.

The person called the trader to Medhe, took him to the company, showed him the stock and gave other relevant information to gain his confidence, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Virar) Ramchandra Deshmukh said.

After the stock was loaded in the truck, the accused, who was accompanied by two others, asked the victim to make the payment following which the vehicle would be sent to the destination.

When the victim made the payment of Rs 27.87 lakh, the accused told him the stock would be delivered once the money is credited to the company's account.

The accused then fled with the truck, the official said.

The phone number of the accused was later found switched off and the victim could not contact him.

The victim then lodged a police complaint.

As a first step, the police froze the bank account where the money was transferred, the official said.

After working on technical inputs, the police traced the accused and his two associates to Kalyan in neighbouring Thane district and arrested them on Monday.

An agent also allegedly involved in the crime tried to escape to Uttar Pradesh by boarding a Mumbai-Varanasi train. The police nabbed him from Nashik Road railway station on Tuesday, the official said.

Out of the four accused, two are from Thane, one is from Raigad and another person hails from Gujarat.

During their interrogation, the police learnt the four persons were involved in similar crimes in Navi Mumbai, Raigad, Dhule, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Delhi, the official said.

In order to evade arrest, the accused had been changing their names, mobile phones and SIM cards, another official said.

The police seized a car, 15 mobile phones, 10 ATM cards, and other items like stamp pads, Aadhaar and PAN cards from their possession and also recovered booty worth Rs 20,02,332 from them, he said. PTI COR GK

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