The Oshiwara police have arrested a group of five students for cheating pan shop owners by purchasing cigarettes and then sending fake cash credit messages. The group operated in the Andheri Lokhandwala area and had duped pan shop owners of Rs 77,800. A probe revealed that the accused youth used bulk messaging service to dupe the shopkeepers and tricking them into believing that the payment was made.
According to police, last month a college student had purchased cigarettes worth Rs 77,800 from a pan shop at Lokhandwala Market in Andheri (W). The youth had allegedly made the payment through an online platform, following which the owner received a message of money being credited in his account. Believing the message he received, the pan shop owner did not suspect any foul play.
A month later, however, when the shop owner visited his bank to update the passbook and make some transactions, he realised that there was no entry of Rs 77,800 being credited in his account and immediately raised a query with the bank. After initial enquiries, he realised that the money was never credited in the account but he had received a message.
Police said, having realised that he was duped, the pan shop owner went to Oshiwara police station and lodged a complaint against the youth. Police began the investigation and arrested Sagar Gala, 24, from Malad, following which he revealed the names of his accomplices-- Nisarg Maskariya, 19, Jimit Panchal, 20, Apurv Goyal, 22 and Bhavik Padiyar aged 22.
Investigations revealed that the students had observed that pan shopkeepers do not check their account balance after e-payment and simply just rely on the message from the bank. The youth then used two messaging platforms to send fake bank messages to their victims. They were all booked under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code for cheating and police are ascertaining how many messages they had sent to other people.