The Kurla police on Sunday arrested Shakeel Chowdhary (32), accused of stealing mobile phones of insurance agents. In the last couple of months, the accused fooled over 16 insurance advisors, the police said.
Ismail Mohammed (25), Chowdhary’s accomplice was also arrested. “We are investigating whether the accused has other cases apart from the complaints we have received so far,” said police sub-inspector N C Pervi of Kurla police station.
The accused, identified as Shakeel Chowdhary (32), would approach the insurance advisors on the pretext of purchasing insurance, by getting their cell phone numbers from the Internet advertisements or through other means. The police said Chowdhary would then fix an appointment with the advisor at a restaurant.
Mushtaq Ansari (29), an Agency Manager with TATA AIG, who fell prey to Chowdhary’s scheme, said the accused would come for the meeting formally dressed.
After discussing the product, he would try to make a call on his mobile phone to his wife to discuss the insurance product.
Behaving as if he was facing difficulty in making the call due to a bad network, he would then ask the advisor for a mobile phone to make the call. “On the pretext of poor network, the accused would move towards the entrance of the restaurant. By the time the advisor realized that he had been fooled, the conman would flee,” Ansari said.
After a number of such incidents, the insurance advisors started creating awareness in their community by sending e-mails and SMSs. “We followed the case with the police as the accused was creating fear among advisors. This was causing a dip in their performance as they would be apprehensive of any calls coming to them,” said Subhash Rathod (32), an advisor with ING Vyasa.