CHENNAI: A fake priest was arrested on Sunday by the Chennai police for allegedly swindling four sovereigns gold and Rs 1,000 cash from a family under the pretext of conducting a special pooja in their house at Neelankarai.
Police said the accused, whose original name is Joseph, had posed a priest in a temple at Tiruvannamalai and approached the family of Chandrapal Pandian, a bank staff. "The complainant's son had died five years ago and the family had gone to the temple a few months ago to perform the annual ritual. Learning that the family is depressed over the loss of one of its members, Joseph promised to conduct a special pooja in their house to ward off bad omen," said a police officer.
On July 21, Joseph and his associate Udayakumar - both disguised as Hindu priests - reached Chandrapal's house and performed a pooja and asked the family to keep gold and cash as offering to god during the
Pooja. "As the Pooja was over and everyone were busy, Joseph managed to steal the four sovereign gold chain and Rs 1,000 cash and leave the house," said the officer.
Police said Chandrapal filed a complaint only two days after the incident. With the help of a CCTV footage, police traced the identity of the accused and on Sunday night arrested Joseph. The police are looking out for Udayakumar.