Mumbai Crime Branch busts gang selling refurbished phones as new, two arrested

The police have seized nearly 3,200 mobile phones worth Rs 1.37 crore in total.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Friday, July 22, 2022, 10:06 AM IST
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Mumbai crime branch busts gang selling refurbished phones as new, two arrested (Representative Photo) | Photo credit: IANS

Mumbai Crime Branch officials have unearthed a racket wherein a group of people used social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to advertise the availability of expensive mobile phones at cheap rates, with discarded and damaged phones being sent to the customers through courier on cash on delivery basis later.

The police have seized nearly 3,200 mobile phones worth Rs 1.37 crore in total. According to the police, the gang has been active for the past five years and is suspected to have duped hundreds of citizens.

The police have arrested two persons – Rahil Ranka, 25, and Siddhesh Sutar, 24 – for their alleged involvement in the case. According to the Kandivali crime branch unit, specific information was received that an office space in a building at Kaachpada in Malad (west) was being used to create and publish bogus advertisements on social media platforms to dupe people looking to buy a cell phone.

The police decided to raid the premises. Around 3 pm on Wednesday, a police team reached the location and intercepted Rahil Ranka, who was running his online mobile phone selling business from the premises.

At the office, the police saw a person expert in mobile phone repair and the head of staff – Siddhesh Sutar. Police sources claimed that the accused was running a fullfledged customer care centre and had employed over a dozen people at the said premises.

The staff was provided a script that they would use for making confirmation and verification calls to customers once an order was placed. The accused also had a godown in the building where the discarded and damaged or repaired old mobile phones were stored.

Once the customer placed an order, the accused would pack the mobile phone and get it delivered to the customer through courier, police said.

The police have registered a case on charges of acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property and cheating by personation by using computer resource.

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