Ghaziabad police on Thursday arrested eight ‘tantriks’ who duped people on the pretext of solving their personal problems. They also operated a call centre in Arthala locality of Sahibabad for the purpose. Apart from the eight members of the gang, the police also arrested two persons who helped the gang place advertisements through fake identification.
The problems the gang ‘tackled’ included those related to love affairs, winning back girlfriends, IPL betting lucky numbers, clearing job interviews, getting rid of ghosts, getting good marks in examinations and improved sex life.
Among those arrested, the key accused are Irshad and his brother Dilshad who are from Arthala and had set up the call centre at their three-storeyed house. The police said that they placed advertisements in different states including West Bengal, Gujarat and UP and promised readers to solve their problems by performing ‘puja’ and other ‘trantrik’ rituals.
“They never met customers in person and never revealed their location of operation. Initially, whenever a customer approached them, they would listen to the problems and asked them to deposit Rs5,200 or Rs7,200 initially in order to start the process of problem solving. Later, they duped people on the pretext of performing more rituals,” said Akash Tomar, Superintendent of Police (city).
The police said that they have also come across several customers who paid the gang nearly Rs1 lakh each in different instances in order to get their problems resolved. They added that none of the accused studied more than class 10.
“They kept changing numbers and also put up anonymous pictures in advertisements. The gang minted nearly Rs15-20 lakh per month this way and had been operating for the past one year. They also opened 15 bank accounts in names of different persons where the customers deposited money. We are verifying their scale of transactions,” Tomar said.
The police also recovered 20 mobiles used by the gang to get in touch with customers and Rs6.72 lakh from their possession. The officials said that after the initial conversation, the gang members used to be in touch with the customers through WhatsApp groups and provided solutions. During the month of May, the gang placed Rs15 lakh advertisement in order to get new customers.