The city police busted a gang of fraudsters, who duped people on the pretext of exchanging fake notes for new currency notes. They would convince their target that the money they have was fake and they would not only replace it but would triple the amount. They also staged fake police raids with the help of bogus cops.
According to sources, the gang was enjoying support of some of the real cops as well. Those arrested by the police have been identified as Shailesh Randive (30), a resident of Vaishali Nagar, Kaustabh Lokhande (28), a resident of Kamgar Nagar and Nitin alias Lakhan Lokhande (28), a resident of Dahegaon, Wardha. The kingpin of the gang, Sanghpal Ganar is still at large. The gang was operating since a long time, it is learnt.
Police sources said, the gang members would promise their target of paying them three times the legal currency notes in exchange of fake notes. People would easily fall in their trap as possessing fake currency was a risky affair with the threat of police action.
After finalising the deal, the fake cops would raid the place at the time of exchange of currency notes. The gang members would flee the spot leaving the bag of notes. Fearing the arrest, the target too would escape leaving their currency too.
On a tip off, DCP Zone 5 Harsh Poddar, constituted a team to bust the gang. Accordingly, cops pretending as customers willing to exchange fake currency notes contacted the accused. The gang members fell prey to the cops’ plan and promised to pay them Rs 9 lakh in return of fake notes of Rs 3 lakh.
According to the plan, the dummy buyer reached Shaniwari Market, Sitanagar – the place decided by both the parties. The accused reached the spot in a four wheeler and a team of cops comprising API Omprakash Sontakke and PSI Jitendra Thakur raided the spot when the gang members were accepting money from the dummy customer and caught them red-handed.
Police said, they had brought the money to be handed over to the dummy customer in a bag. The entire amount of currency notes was in denominations of Rs 200 and Rs 500. However, only the first and last few notes of the bundle were genuine, the remaining was fake, looking as originals. . The bundles of notes were arranged in a way that the bag was looking full.
Pratap Nagar police booked the accused and recovered the cash of Rs 4 lakh along with a car. Police said, the gang members used chemical to dupe people. The accused used to apply a chemical on the legal currency notes after which colour of the notes get changed. As a result, the victim got convinced that the notes they had were fake.