Conmen duped the owner of Rs 1.6 lakh by posing as officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Although such jobs are not uncommon, what has shocked the police is that fraudsters have used SIMs registered in Assam to make phones. They bought the SIMs from Hosur, and the police believe that the Tamil Nadu city is becoming a major hub for selling SIMs outside the state for these illegal activities.
Y Srinivasa Reddy, 68, is the trustee of Sri Sathya Sai Vidya Niketan, Bagepalli, and also owns real estate on the Bengaluru-Hyderabad highway (number 44).
In 2007, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) acquired 10 acres of land for the highway project. After receiving monetary compensation, he appealed to NHAI seeking a better deal.
On August 23, Srinivasa received a call from an unknown number (9387052895). The caller identified himself as Harish Reddy from NHAI land allotment office. He told Srinivasa that he was entitled to another Rs 28 lakh as compensation for the acquisition of the land. The caller asked him to give the house documents and Rs 1.5 lakh to one Vijayakantha Reddy.
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Srinivasa called Vijayakantha, who claimed to be the revenue inspector of the NHAI office and asked him to meet him near the office of the deputy commissioner in Chikkaballapura. Vijayakantha later asked him to hand over Rs 1.6 lakh to Harish. After taking the money, Harish promised Srinivasa that he would soon get the enhanced compensation of Rs 28 lakh and walked away. Then he switched off his phone. Vijayakantha’s number has also been switched off.
Realizing that he was arrested, Srinivasa filed a complaint at the Chikkaballapur CEN police station.
Tracking down the suspects was not easy for the police. With both phone numbers switched off, they were left to rely on the grainy CCTV footage of the Chikkaballapura DC office. But the painstaking efforts that lasted for more than a month paid off when they managed to find the main suspect in Attibele around 8am on October 3.
It was Syed Mubarak, 34, a resident of Anekal, who posed as Harish to catch up with Srinivasa. Police recovered Rs 1.2 lakh from him. Mubarak is a favorite of the DC office.
The Vijayakantha impersonator is Akram Pasha, also from Anekal. The police have yet to make an arrest.
The duo used the SIM registered in Assam and bought it from a street vendor in Hosur, said Superintendent of Police Nagesh D L. Chikkaballapur Superintendent of Police Nagesh DL identify or trace the street vendor. “He didn’t do business there regularly. No one seemed to know much about him,” Nagesh told him. DH.
According to Nagesh, the men contacted Srinivasa when he wrote his phone number on the board. Srinivasa denied that.
‘Information from the DC office’
Talking to him DH, Srinivasa suspected that his personal information had been leaked from the DC office. “I didn’t put any sign with my phone number. NHAI took over my property in 2007 and it has it. So I didn’t need to give my number,” he said.
Srinivasa added that he was given only two and a half hours to pay the money. “I just walked into a trap, I didn’t suspect anything,” he said. He praised the police for their efficient efforts to track down the condoms with very few clues.