Leader of gang that duped forex traders arrested in Bengaluru | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Leader of gang that duped forex traders arrested in Bengaluru

ByManish K Pathak
May 23, 2024 07:48 AM IST

In March this year, the police arrested three people, including a Bollywood make-up artist who allegedly took $60,000 from a forex trader in Santacruz and fled from the hotel

MUMBAI: The Mumbai crime branch has arrested the mastermind behind the racket in which several forex traders were duped by men posing as rich individuals in need of foreign currency. The accused, Krishna Kumar Sharma, 29, was arrested from Taj West End hotel at Bengaluru.

The accused, Krishna Kumar Sharma, 29, was arrested from Taj West End hotel at Bengaluru.
The accused, Krishna Kumar Sharma, 29, was arrested from Taj West End hotel at Bengaluru.

In March this year, the police arrested three people, including a Bollywood make-up artist who allegedly took $60,000 from a forex trader in Santacruz and fled from the hotel. In the course of their investigation, the police learned that Sharma was the mastermind of the gang, whose members used to pose as rich men, call forex traders to suites in five-star hotels, collect the foreign currency and flee from the hotel through another door under some pretext such as taking a phone call.

There are at least five cases registered against Sharma, three at the Vakola, Airport and Amboli police stations in Mumbai, the fourth case in Delhi and the fifth in Chennai. The Amboli case was registered last year while all the other cases are of this year, said police inspector Laxmikant Salunkhe of Unit 8 of the Crime Branch.

The accused arrested in March are identified as Majid Abdul Malik Khan alias Munnu, 44, who lives near Juhu Church and claimed to be a make-up artist, Mayank Sharma alias Laddu, a resident of Delhi, and Akash Agrawal, 19, a Dombivli resident.

Two forex traders were duped by the accused in January and February this year. The first FIR, where the complainant was allegedly cheated of $35,000, was registered at Sahar police station while the second one was registered at Vakola police station based on a complaint filed by one Paresh Parmar.

Parmar has an office in Vile Parle East. He was introduced by a common friend to Khan, who gave his name as Krishnan. Khan spoke to Parmar many times and told him that his Bollywood team was going on a foreign trip for a shooting and required US dollars. The duo then decided to meet in a five-star hotel in Santacruz on February 27 to exchange currencies. Parmar went there with his wife, a police officer said.

The couple first met a person (one of the accused) in the lobby, who introduced himself as an assistant make-up artist working with ‘Krishnan’. He then took them to Krishnan’s room on the fourth floor of the hotel, where Parmar handed over $25,000 that he had brought in a bag. Krishna Sharma was also present in the room and claimed that he worked as a celebrity manager.

“Once Khan got the money, he left the room under the pretext of talking to his accountant. He told Parmar that his accountant would be there in some time and would hand over the equivalent of the dollars in rupees as well as give him photocopies of his passport and Aadhar card,” said an officer. “Later, Krishna Sharma also left, pretending that he was on the phone.”

Parmar waited in the room for several minutes and then tried to call Khan. He went to look for him in the lobby and other areas of the hotel but could not find him. The hotel staff then told him that the guest occupying the said room had checked out. The room fare, he was told, had been paid in advance.

During the investigation, the Crime Branch learnt that the accused had duped one more forex trader of $35,000. The accused were identified based on the hotel’s CCTV footage and other technical evidence. PI Salunkhe said that the trio was in judicial custody while Krishna Sharma was in police custody till May 23.

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