Foreign exchange traders in the city can heave a sigh of relief with Cubbon Park police on Sunday nabbing 48-year-old Narain Kumar Sharma, alias Naresh Kumar, who is said to have cheated several forex traders by posing as a businessman.
On February 15, a trader from Haya Forex, Brigade Road, had filed a complaint that he was cheated by a man posing as a businessman.
According to the police, Sharma would establish contact with traders posing as a businessman. After initial exchanges of small amounts of money, he would then ask for a bigger amount and ask the traders to meet him at a posh hotel, where he claimed to stay. Here, he would take the money from the traders and leave on the pretext of going to his room to bring the currency. “Only after waiting for a few hours would the traders realise that something was amiss. They would then find out that no person had checked into the hotel under Sharma’s name,” a police officer said.
However, in the Haya Forex trader’s case, police managed to trace Sharma through the hotel’s CCTV footage. They traced his phone number to Mumbai but this proved to be a dead end as Sharma had submitted fake documents while obtaining the SIM card. But the police managed to contact Sharma through his second phone number.
A police officer posed as a businessman with a lot of illegal foreign currency and requested Sharma’s help in exchanging the currency. Sharma fell for it and invited him to a hotel in Pune, where he was nabbed.
Sharma is said to have tried to cheat another forex trader at The Leela Palace about a month before the February incident. But the trader suspected something amiss and the transaction didn’t take place.
Cubbon Park police have said they will contact their counterparts in Hyderabad and Mumbai to find out whether Sharma was involved in similar frauds there as well. “We are also investigating whether he was involved in more such incidents in Bangalore,” an officer said. A total of $7,000 and 3,000 pounds, amounting to `7.5 lakh, was seized from Sharma and a case of cheating registered against him.