They first called a travel agency asking for £6,000 (about Rs 5 lakh) to be delivered at an address in Bandra (East).
Two days later when the agency executive went to deliver the money, two men posing as Crime Branch officials fled with the cash and car, throwing him and the driver on the road.
A man identifying himself as Rajesh Podar called Atlas World Travels Private Limited headoffice near Mohammed Ali road on Saturday, requesting an exchange of Indian rupees for £6,000 for six passport holders.
The caller gave the reference of Arshad Naqvi, the branch manager of the agency’s Bandra branch.
Photocopies of the six passports were also mailed to the agency for reference. The caller also gave an address, where the currency was to be delivered. Police officials said that the caller gave a fake address of a building in Bandra (E).
However, when the agency staff called Naqvi, he denied knowing the identity of the callers. But the agency staffers went ahead with the transaction, probably because of pressure to meet targets.
On Monday, an executive by the name of Imtiyaz Karbari (28) was sent in a Maruti WagonR along with the driver Nafeez Ansari (25) to deliver the money.
While Karbari and Ansari were searching the address in Bandra (East), two safari-clad men approached them claiming to be crime branch officials. “We did not question them, thinking it was a routine check. BKC is a sensitive area as there are a lot of corporate offices,” said Ansari.
The ‘policemen’ then asked the driver to step out of the car and drove away with Karbari. A few kilometers away, the duo robbed Karbari of the foreign currency, about Rs 12,000 (which was Karbari’s salary) and his cell phone.
According to the police, before pushing Karbari out of the moving car, the due told him, “Your boss has been arrested. Come and pick up your car from Dalamal Towers in south Mumbai.”
“Karbari, who was left without any money or phone, then pleaded an auto rickshaw driver to drop him till the Bandra branch of his agency, which is located near Lucky hotel on the SV Road,” said Naqvi, the branch manager of Bandra office.
The office management then approached the BKC police station and lodged a complaint.
Senior police inspector Vijay Meru, of the Bandra-Kurla police station, refused to comment on the case.