Gang of three caught red-handed conning car owners on Mumbai highway
Police lay trap, find that accused were conning drivers on Eastern Express Highway into paying them to fix sparks allegedly coming from their cars
Three members of a gang of conmen, who would trick motorists on the Eastern Express Highway into paying them money to fix sparks allegedly coming from their cars, were caught red-handed in Mulund on Sunday.
Just two months ago, a gang of robbers were caught on the Western Express Highway pulling the same con.
The trio was arrested after a motorist heading towards south Mumbai from Anand Nagar check post in Mulund on the Eastern Express Highway (EEH) alerted the Navghar police that he had spotted some people on the road who were behaving suspiciously and perhaps cheating drivers.
To verify the tip-off, the police formed a team and went to the spot. “We got a private car and dressed in plain clothes,” said a police officer who was part of the team but did not wish to be named. “When we were passing by, one of the men called out to us and said that he could see sparks coming from the car. A little ahead, another man approached us and said the same thing.”
The car with plainclothes policemen pulled over and was approached by a third person, who claimed to be a mechanic. Soon, the other two men too joined him. “One of them opened the bonnet and cut a wire and then indeed there were sparks,” said the officer.
Oblivious that he was dealing with policemen, the man posing as a mechanic told them that they would have to replace certain parts to rectify the defect that was causing the sparks, and that he was willing to do the job if they paid him.
That’s when the police called off the charade and arrested the three men. However, a fourth accused who was nearby managed to escape.
“The accused would stand around 50 metres apart, and shout out to motorists, who would believe it was a true problem after more than one person warned them and then get cheated. We realised that they had conned many people on the highway,” said the officer.
The three arrested have been identified as Mohamed Qureshi, 21, Kazim Khan, 24, and Kasim Khan, 21.
Investigations revealed that there are cases registered against all three at MIDC, Mankhurd, Deonar, Samta Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, Vikhroli and Bhandup police stations