Pan shop owner from Mumbai buys ‘American dollars’, duped of Rs1.95 lakh
Four persons cheated a Girgaum-based pan shop owner of Rs1.95 lakh by selling him fake American dollars.
The complainant, Surendra Avasti, 40, told police the incident took place in January, when he had gone to Haji Ali with his relatives. One of the accused approached Avasti and showed him a 20 US dollar note when he was waiting near Haji Ali juice center.
The person identified himself as Aslam, and said that his grandmother has 1,500 dollars which she wants to sell. The accused promised to sell the dollars at half the price, which Avasti agreed to.
“On January 8, Avasti was at his pan shop when Aslam called asking if he had arranged for the cash. The caller asked him to meet him at Kurla railway station with Rs2 lakh. Avasti arranged for Rs1.95 lakh, and along with his nephew Ashish, went to the station the next morning,” said an official.
Aslam, however, told him to meet him in the evening, saying his grandmother was out of station. The men agreed to meet at 5pm. When Avasti reached Kurla, Aslam was accompanied by two more men and an elderly woman. They then took him near MBI bank at Nehru nagar in Kurla (East).
There, Aslam handed Avasti a plastic bag, telling him that the foreign currency is kept under the hankerchief handkerchief inside. Aslam then took the Rs1.95 lakh from Avasti. When Avasti was about to check the bag of dollars, Aslam told him that the police are patrolling the area and that they could get caught, so he should check the bag at home.
Avasti checked the bag in the train and found a bundle of paper, with the dollar on the top. He tried to contact Aslam but his phone was switched off. The Tardeo police have registered a case of cheating.
“The complainant approached us only on March 16. We are scanning the CCTV footage at the railway station and different locations to trace the accused,” said a police officer privy to the investigation.