On Monday, police caught the trio while they were busy swindling another person at Khyala.(HT Photo)
On Monday, police caught the trio while they were busy swindling another person at Khyala.(HT Photo)

Delhi couple arrested, foster son apprehended for conning pedestrians

The trio was wanted in three cases of cheating that were registered at the Rajouri Garden police station in west Delhi between March 11 and August 9
By Karn Pratap Singh | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON AUG 26, 2020 10:43 AM IST

The Delhi Police on Tuesday arrested a couple and apprehended their 13-year-old foster son for allegedly conning pedestrians, mostly elderly women, and tricking them into exchanging their ornaments with bundles of fake currency notes.

The trio was wanted in three cases of cheating that were registered at the Rajouri Garden police station in west Delhi between March 11 and August 9. The arrested couple has been identified as Raju alias Mango (28) and his wife Poonam (24).

Raju has been involved in 19 crimes, mostly cheating and robbery, the police said.

The police explained the trio’s modus operandi.

Each member of the family was assigned a specific task to execute the crime.

Initially, they would identify a potential target, which in 90% of the cases were elderly women, and kept a tab on their daily routine, the police said.

Then, the couple would send their foster son to strike up a conversation with their potential target. The child would show a bundle of currency notes wrapped in a newspaper and tied with a thread and tell the person that he had stolen the money from his employer’s home, the official said.

“The child would trick the person into believing his cock-and-bull story. He would make an offer to exchange the currency notes against some other items. Soon, Poonam would arrive at the spot and join the conversation pretending to be a stranger and showing her eagerness to finalise the deal with the child. She would estimate that the value of the bundle of the currency notes to be almost double the worth of the jewellery that the person is wearing,” said the official.

Later, Poonam would plead helplessness citing that she did not have ornaments of that worth and would convince the potential target not to miss out on the lucrative exchange offer.

Typically, Raju would make his presence felt and trick the potential target to cut a deal. The target would figure out that s/he was conned only after opening the bundle of currency notes. White papers were put between a couple of currency notes on both sides, the police said.

According to an investigating officer (IO), who spoke on condition of anonymity, multiple teams of Delhi Police were working on the three cases. An analysis of the footage of 70 closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras related to the crime scenes showed that the suspects in all the cases were the same, he said.

“We activated our network of informers and one of them helped us identify the suspects. On Monday, we caught the trio, while they were busy swindling another person at Khyala,” the IO added.

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