Seven youths, who were arrested on the suspicion that they were planning a robbery, turned out to be alleged members of a gang that had duped at least six people of several lakhs over six months. Two other alleged gang members were held later.
The seven, aged between 20 and 25 years, were arrested recently in Watgunge, where they had assembled allegedly to plan the robbery of a jewellery store.
Police were looking for the youths in connection with cheating cases lodged with Watgunge, New Alipore and Burrabazar police stations.
The other members of the gang were arrested from the New Alipore police station area. All of them are from Motihari town in East Champaran district of Bihar.
According to investigators, the gang targeted men sent by their employers to banks to deposit several thousand rupees. One of the gang members, acting like a naïve villager, would approach a potential victim and seek his help to deposit Rs 1 lakh.
When the man asked the gang member the number of the account where he wanted the money deposited, he would claim that he did not have a bank account.
“The gang member would then ‘confess’ that he had stolen the cash in Bihar and was desperate to dispose of it. He would then offer to hand over the bundle of notes to the employee in exchange for only Rs 20,000,” said an officer of Watgunge police station.
If the employee hesitated, another man would walk up to the duo and want to take up the offer, claiming to have overheard the conversation. Seeing someone else go for the deal, the employee too would opt for it. He would hand over Rs 20,000 from the cash he was carrying to deposit at the bank and take the bundle.
The first gang member would immediately disappear. The second member too would soon excuse himself. When the employee tried to deposit or use cash from the bundle he was handed, he would find out the notes, except the few on top, were fake.
The investigators are looking for two other members of the gang.