Mumbai: The suspicion of a night patrolling officer from the Nehru Nagar police led to the bust of a gang involved in a currency exchange scam. The arrest of Jharkhand natives resulted in cracking of a case filed three months ago. One Vivek Maskar, 30, from Navi Mumbai had approached the police after he was duped of Rs1 lakh by the gang on the pretext of exchanging INR to USD.
On Saturday night, the patrol officer was on duty in the Kurla East area when he saw a man moving around suspiciously, with a small pouch. The cop approached the man who started stuttering upon questioning and then attempted to run off. After a hot chase, the suspect was caught and his frisking led to the discovery of bundles of plain papers tied together like currency notes, with the word ‘Dollar’ written on them.
Amir Jamshed Shaikh, 21, was brought to the police station for further interrogation during which he narrated that they take Indian currency from people and promise American dollars in exchange. But the targets were slyly given fake notes.
Shaikh further revealed that he has two more accomplices who reside in Wadala. Situ Abu Tahir, 22, and Naseeb Malik Shaikh, 35, were arrested from their residence later. The trio had arrived in Mumbai last week.
“While checking their residence, a total of 64 SIM cards were found, along with four mobile phones. They called targets from these SIM cards and approached them for an exchange of INR to USD. While checking these SIM cards and their numbers, we found that the number matched to one of an earlier case that was registered (by Maskar) in October,” explained Senior Police Inspector Chandrashekar Bhabal.
It is also sure by now that the arrested accused has a superior who manages the scam. Efforts are on to find out the original players of the scam. Also, it will be checked with the police in Mumbai Metropolitan Region as well as in Jharkhand if the trio had committed similar offences in the past, Mr Bhabal added.
A case has been registered against them under sections 420 (cheating) and 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code. During the course of the investigation, more supplementary sections might be added, said the police.