CHENNAI: A Chennai-based Flipkart delivery agent’s ingenious ploy to swindle iPhones by placing fake orders was thwarted on Sunday, by which time he had managed to get hold of as many as 12 iPhones by defrauding his own employer.
The modus operandi of the accused, B Naveen (21), was that he would place orders for fake addresses in the Washermenpet area (to which he is delivery in-charge). After receiving the package, he would return fake phones to the company, claiming that they were returned by unsatisfied customers. He had been doing this for well over a month until his employer finally took note of the unusually high number of product returns originating from a single locality. Sensing that something was amiss, Flipkart carried out a probe and discovered that the phones dispatched and the ones returned were not the same.
Naveen was arrested by the Madhavaram police on Sunday, based on a complaint from the warehouse owner Vetriselvam (30). He was later produced before a magistrate and remanded in judicial custody.
The delivery man who stole iPhones by placing fake orders did it to settle debts, police said. Police also said that the accused is a first time offender. Investigations revealed that he had been doing this for the past one month on the advise of an advocate. He has been a delivery in charge for the past six months, police said.
On his modus operandi, police explained that he was careful to not do it in the warehouse itself as there are CCTV cameras and replaced the fake phones in his home.
“First, he ordered one phone using a fake address and replaced it with a phone, a china model he bought from Ritchie street and sent it back to the warehouse saying that it was returned by customer. As he didn’t get caught, he followed it up twice by ordering in bulk,” an investigating officer with Madhavaram police told Express.
The phones were recovered by the police. The value of the stolen phones are over `5 lakh, a police official said. Naveen who completed BCom this year from a college in Kodungayur was placed through a man management firm in Guindy and he had been working as a delivery agent for Washermanpet area for the past six months, police said.
“He had a lot of debts by getting loans from his friends and others to have a luxurious life during college. That was the motive behind his act,” the officer added.
Naveen was produced before a magistrate and remanded in judicial custody.