A fraudster inspired by the Bollywood movie Special 26 who duped people of lakhs of rupees in Delhi has turned out to be a Bhopal resident.
The fraud, 42-year-old Mehandi Hasan Irani, carries a voter ID registered in Aman Colony under Nishatpura police station. A Delhi police team on Thursday brought Irani to the city to verify his address.
Investigating officer Bachhu Singh, a sub-inspector at Kotwali police station in Delhi, said they verified the addresses of two residences in Bhopal.
“We have contacted senior police officers of Bhopal and have sought criminal records of Mehandi and Abu Hasan Ali, Mehandi’s associate,” Singh told HT over phone. Ali is still absconding, he said.
According to the investigating officer, Irani was arrested after he and Ali stole gold worth over Rs 24 lakh from a courier agent on November 2. The how is where the case gets interesting. “They impersonated income tax officers...and told the courier agent, who was carrying gold from Sanjay Jewellers at Chandani Chowk in Delhi, that the gold was illegal. They then proceeded to ‘confiscate’ the gold,” said Singh.
On receiving complaint from the courier service and the jeweller, Delhi police laid a trap and caught Irani. It has been revealed that the duo has committed similar crimes at least four times in the past.
Irani, who speaks fluent English, revealed to police officers that he and his accomplice had watched the Akshay Kumar-starrer movie Special 26 and taken clues to make a quick buck.
“Their modus operandi was that they would come to Delhi from Bhopal and fix their targets. They would pose as CBI, customs or income tax officers and dupe people. They are being questioned to ascertain their involvement in other crimes in Delhi,” Singh said.
When contacted, superintendent of police (SP), north, Arvind Saxena said, “Both the accused belong to Bhiwandi in Mumbai. They were frequent visitors at Irani Deras in Bhopal and used to stay for long periods of time. They even had fake voter ID cards with fake names,” he said.