Bhubaneswar: The rate was pretty lucrative. A person had to pay Rs 5 lakh and would get Rs 20 lakh in return besides some gold biscuits. The only problem was that the money returned was in fake currency notes and the gold was also fake. The persons so duped hailed from different parts of Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattishgarh.
The Commissionerate Police busted the interstate racket with the arrest of three persons, with the latest arrest in Bhubaneswar on Friday. Police have also seized Rs 7 crore in fake notes, Rs 7.26 lakh cash, 105 fake gold biscuits and a car from them.
Police said this was one of the biggest such hauls in the Odisha capital.
According to police, they had arrested two persons in this connection three days ago. Following their interrogation, police arrested one more person. He was identified as Pravat Kumar Sahoo, who hails from Kujanga in Jagatsinghpur district.
Briefing the media in Bhubaneswar, DCP Anup Sahu said the accused first contacted their victims from mobile phones and told them to give Rs 5 lakh and take Rs 20 lakh in return. They then used to call their victims to public places and sell them fake gold biscuits, the Sahu added.
“We have a huge amount of black money. If the Income Tax department comes to know about it, we will be in trouble. That is why we want to give all the money to you. If you give us Rs 5 lakh, we will give you Rs 20 lakh. Besides, we will sell gold biscuits,” the DCP said quoting the modus operandi of the fraudsters.
In one instance, the gang had lured a certain Rohit Burma from Ranchi to come to Bhubaneswar and cheated him. When he came to know that he was given fake notes, he registered a complaint at Laxmisagar police station here.
Game Is Up
Based on the complaint, the DCP formed a special investigative squad led by ACP Sanjeev Satpathy.
The squad got down to following the activities of the conmen. With the help of mobile tracking, the police arrested Pradip Maiti of West Bengal and Rajendra Das from Bijhanrpur of Jajpur district three days ago. The police also seized some fake notes from their possession.
The police will bring Pravat Kumar Sahoo in remand for further investigation.
The gang has also cheated a person of Puri with Rs 10 lakh and a person from Dhenkanal with Rs 12 lakh earlier, informed Sahu.
Cops Buy Cash Counting Machine
The investigators were first confused by looking at Rs Rs 7 crore in fake notes, which almost looked genuine. Tired with their attempts to count them, police finally bought a cash counting machine for the task.
Police, however, are still clueless as where did the gang get hold of so much counterfeit currencies.
The DCP requested people to immediately complain to police stations if they face such a con. Based on a complaint, police will investigate the matter.