Two days after a woman accused of honey-trapping a BJP MP was arrested, another woman was allowed to walk free even after the police suspected that she had duped as many as 25 businessmen from across India.
Police claim the con-woman lured businessmen by promising to get their banned notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 exchanged with new ones, and ran away after taking the processing fees ranging from ₹2 to 10 lakh.
On Wednesday, the woman came face to face with the UP Special Task Force (STF) during a raid at a city businessman’s Nirala Nagar residence, but was let off, in the absence of a complaint against her.
It was during the same raid that the STF seized banned notes of ₹ 1 crore from the house of Mukesh Jindal, a real estate and plywood businessman.
“We raided the businessman’s house suspecting hawala (illegal money transfer) racket but discovered the new trend of cheating in the name of exchanging old notes,” said Amit Pathak, senior superintendent of police (SSP) of STF.
The woman was questioned at Jindal’s house after it was told that she is from a Delhi firm that exchanges banned currency notes by charging 40% of the transaction amount.
Pathak said the woman confessed during questioning that she learnt the technical terms of Reserve Bank of India and used them to convince businessmen for exchanging banned currency notes through different methods.
Earlier, when the deadline to exchange note was not over, she offered to exchange notes through accounts of different firms, but post December 31, 2016 she had been offering to get notes exchanged through NRIs, who are allowed to deposit their banned notes till June 30, 2017.
As per the woman, she used to charge non-refundable charge between ₹2 to 10 lakh processing fees in advance and later keep such tough conditions that most of the businessmen were not able to fulfil them, giving her the liberty of keeping the processing amount with her.
“The woman used to ask the businessmen to present the banned currency notes, to the face value of at least ₹25 crore, in 45 minutes but since most of the time they were not able to fulfil the conditions, she used to disappear with the processing fees,” said Pathak.
The woman is learnt to have confessed that one Akash is the mastermind of the racket and it was he who sent her to meet several businessmen in Jodhpur, Ahmedabad, Raipur, Surat, Pune, Moradabad and Jaipur.
“She also visited Lucknow thrice in past three months and procured money from at least three businessmen,” Pathak added.
The SSP said the woman was let off as none of her victims were ready to register a complaint against her. “The victims fear that registering complaint against the woman would land them in trouble too, as they themselves were trying to exchange the banned notes illegally,” said Pathak while claiming that the STF was collecting details about the woman and her accomplices.