Three people have been arrested for duping a Kolkata-based businessman of Rs. 16 lakh on the pretext of getting his demonetised currency exchanged from a private bank in Delhi. The accused identified as Harkesh Shukla, Rajesh Kumar and Ram Lakhan allegedly cheated Kolkata resident Hitender Doshi on November 12, four days after notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 ceased to be legal tender.
Shukla, the “prime accused”, hatched the plan after he came to know from Mr Doshi’s friend Shakti Gupta that the complainant was carrying Rs. 16 lakh cash in old currency, which he received from his business partners on November 7, a senior police officer said.
They convinced Mr Doshi that carrying such a huge amount in cash was “risky” and that he should deposit it into Gupta’s account in an IDBI bank branch in Ashok Vihar.
It turned out that Gupta did not have an account in the bank. Shukla also ditched Gupta to get hold of the entire amount.
“He contacted accused Rajesh Kumar, who was working in IDBI, Civil Lines Branch, as Sales Officer and regularly visited the Ashok Vihar Branch and knew many bank officials there,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said.
On November 12, the complainant and the accused reached the bank. Mr Doshi handed over a bag having Rs. 16 lakh in cash to Gupta and Shukla.
“Harikesh Shukla went inside the bank with the bag and did not turn up and his phone was found switched off. Through CCTV footage, it was revealed that Shukla handed over the cash bag to someone inside the bank and after that he and that man went out with it,” Mr Yadav said. The accused, all residents of Delhi, were apprehended on December 23 and subsequently arrested, police said. They were also taken on three days police remand.
“From their possession, five mobiles phones having five SIMs used in the crime, jacket of the accused and bag of the victim captured in CCTV footage of IDBI Bank has been recovered,” police added.