Kolkata: Kolkata Police arrested five residents of Uttar Pradesh, including two women, from different parts of the city on charges of duping people by selling fake gold and silver jewellery.
The arrests came during raids on two consecutive days of Saturday and Sunday.
A police officer said that the accused had adopted a unique modus operandi in cheating people. They used to keep visiting houses in different localities in the city posing as sales persons of old gold and silver jewellery. They even used to identify themselves as authorised persons to deal with antique goods. They used to display some gold and silver coins to convince people that they were carrying such real coins with them. They used to offer those coins at a very low price. As soon as they became successful in convincing a person to buy a coin, the accused used to ask them for their money. They used to take a few thousand rupees for a gold coin. Moreover, they mainly used to target women residing alone in a house.
A few days ago, two of them went to the residence of an elderly woman at Kasba in South Kolkata. They had offered her some coins at a low price. The woman had agreed to take the coins and went inside her house to bring money after checking the coins. In the meantime, the accused had changed the coins with fake ones when the woman went inside. She was befooled by them saying that the coins were antique and immensely precious and they took Rs 9.10 lakh from the complainant.
Being convinced that she was given original gold and silver coins, the woman had asked them to bring some more such coins as some of her relatives were also interested in buying such coins. The accused had assured her of providing more such coins within a week. But they did not return and their mobile phones were also switched off. It led to the suspicion of the woman and she took the coins to an expert for examination and came to know that the coins were fake.
Subsequently she lodged a complaint with the police. Investigating officers arrested two of them. On Saturday from near Gateway Hotel and after interrogating them, police came to know the whereabouts of three others, who were arrested on Sunday morning.
Police seized fake gold, silver coins, brass wires, Rs 56,000 cash, several mobile phones and SIM cards from the accused.