‘Your son is in custody’: Posing as police, scammers extort Rs 70 K from advocate

A team was dispatched to MP and technical surveillance on an accused revealed his identity as Vishwajeet Giri, who was then apprehended, police said.
Express Illustrations | Amit Bandre
Express Illustrations | Amit Bandre

NEW DELHI: A 51-year-old man, an advocate by profession, fell victim to a novel cyber scam, with the accused allegedly extorting Rs 70,000 from him, posing as police officers and staging an act claiming that his son was in their custody.

“On March 7, I got a WhatsApp call where the caller introduced himself as a police officer from Sadar Thana and told me that my son is in their custody,” the complainant stated in his FIR.

When he asked the reason for his son’s arrest, the imposters said his son is named in an FIR along with his three friends for some crime they committed.

The advocate was scared by their claims, leaving the cheats free to took advantage. “Pay Rs 70,000 and I will immediately release your son,” the caller alleged instructed.

The father agreed, but wished to speak to his son first. The scammers were ready for such a scenario. They handed the phone to someone whose voice sounded similar to the victim’s son. Hearing the trembling voice of his son over the call, the father immediately transferred the sum via multiple transactions. But the accused insisted on more payments, ticking off the advocate, who realising something was amiss, disconnected the call.

Ensuring his son was not in police custody, the victim approached the police. The cops registered an FIR and during probe, the accounts in which money had been transferred were analysed. “It was revealed that the accused operated out of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh,” DCP (Rohini) GS Sidhu said.

A team was dispatched to MP and technical surveillance on an accused revealed his identity as Vishwajeet Giri, who was then apprehended, police said, adding, 40 mobile phones, 41 SIM cards, 10 debit cards and 18 passbooks of different bank accounts were seized from Giri.

Under interrogation, Giri confessed that he used to arrange bank accounts in Bhopal to receive the cheated money from the account of victims. He used to lure people, mostly the poor, to provide their documents, against some payment, for opening the accounts.

The accused also told cops that about Rs 2-3 lakh rupees of defrauded money was transferred by him every day in different bank accounts on the directions of his accomplices based in Bihar.

Four more in police net

“During further raids, four people have been arrested in the case whose accounts and SIM cards were used in commission of the crime,” the DCP said, adding further raids are being carried out at the possible hideouts of the kingpin of the gang to nab him. The other four were identified as Sudhir Pal, Ravi Kushwah, Kunji Lal Ahirvar, and Maya Singh, all residents of Bhopal, MP.

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