One call to people that they have won the Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) lottery is all it took a gang to cheat people of lakhs of rupees. While the Worli police have busted the racket, they are yet to get to the exact number of people cheated and the money swindled.
This is how the trio -- Jaffar Abbas Hasmulla Shaikh, 22, and Irfan Miya Ali Ansari, 32, both of whom were arrested from Kolkata, and Arshad Sayyad Ali, 20, who was arrested from Bihar a few days ago – believed to be the mastermind of the gang, functioned.
They used to first call an unsuspecting victim, claiming he has won a KBC lottery worth Rs 25 lakh. They used to then tell the victim he will have to pay a certain amount to claim the lottery. Once they deposited the amount (around Rs3 lakh), the gang used to tell the victim he could deposit more money (around Rs3 lakh) to avail of gold jewellery worth Rs20 lakh.
The racket came to light after a vendor approached the police, alleging he was cheated of Rs3.30 lakh.
According to the police, the gang has cheated scores of people not just from the city, but across the country.
They used Pakistani SIM cards, so their call data records could not be traced. They appointed various people for different tasks such as creating bank accounts, calling people and withdrawing cash. While three men used to withdraw cash from ATM kiosks, two others used to collect it from them.
An officer said, “The accused used SIM cards from Pakistan which made tracing their call details and locations tough.”
The police got their first breakthrough, after they recovered the CCTV footages of the ATM centers from Kolkata.
“A team spent several days in Kolkata. We got their photos made from the CCTV footage and then brought them to the city. Subsequently, we found out Ali’s location, after which a team was sent to Bihar,” said another officer, requesting anonymity.