Online cheats ‘couriered’ to jail

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Bangalore: Modern shopping methods and a popular Bollywood film appear to have spurred a couple to resort to an ingenuous method of committing crimes. Staff of a courier company that was singed twice by the couple nabbed the man, and handed him over to the police. The woman is still at large.

According to a complaint filed with the Vivek Nagar police, the couple ‘specialised’ in ordering expensive gadgets from an online shopping portal, promising to pay on delivery. They then take delivery and manage to give the courier man the slip without paying for the goods.

Mohan Kumar, a field executive with S S N Logistics Pvt Ltd, filed a complaint with the Vivek Nagar police stating that on July 26 he was assigned to deliver a parcel to an online shopper identified as Robin Shekawath. The shopper had booked an Apple, iPhone and a HTC Butterfly costing Rs 81,000 in total. Mohan claims that the address on the parcel read, Robin Shekawath C/o Markas Anthony, St Mary’s Basilica Church, Shivajinagar. He claims he called Shekawath on the number written on the parcel.

“With the number provided on the parcel, I called around 6.15 pm,” Kumar states in his complaint. “The customer claimed to be in his office in HAL. He asked me to come to MG Road before summoning me to the State Bank of India branch near Hyderabadi Biriyani restaurant in Victoria Layout. He arrived around 6.45 pm and asked for the gadgets. He handed them to a girl who had accompanied him. When she left, he asked me to accompany him to an ATM from where he slipped away without paying.”

Kumar’s colleague Rakesh also claimed to have been hoodwinked by the couple in the first week of July. “He ordered two phones worth Rs 71,000 in the name of Akshay Pandey. He claimed to live in R T Nagar. When I delivered the products, he gave them to a girl accompanying him and asked me to follow him to an ATM. He entered an educational institution and slipped away,” Rakesh alleged. He added that the couple may have been behind five similar incidents in their Chennai branch.

Aware of the modus operandi of the couple, the courier staff managed to nab the man when he attempted to cheat them another time. This time it was the girl who ordered the phones online, but when she changed the delivery point, a suspicious Mohan alerted his colleagues. They watched Mohan handing over the parcel to the ‘customer’ who in turn gave it to a girl. When the customer told Mohan to accompany him to an ATM, they knew they had their man. The courier staff cut off escape routes, surrounded the man and handed him over to the police.

A policeman said, “The accused is Imran Khan, 30, a BTech dropout. The couple are from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. We are trying to trace the girl.”

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