Mysore/Mysuru: While COVID-19 has put brakes on many occupations and businesses, it has not stopped the business of cheating. An engineer, residing in city was duped to the tune of Rs. 30 lakh after being promised gold ornaments and coins worth crores of rupees at a cheaper price.
The conmen, posing as construction workers, claimed that they got the gold while working near a temple in Tamil Nadu and that they had to sell it off at a lesser price, as they were in dire need of money. A case has been registered at Saraswathipuram Police Station in this regard.
The incident occurred at T.K. Layout a couple of days back and the accused told the victim that they were from Madhya Pradesh and gave out their names as Mohan, Arjun and Shantha. In the complaint, the victim M.G. Raghavendra, a resident of Kumbarakoppal, has stated that while Mohan and Arjun were aged between 30 and 35 years, Shantha was 50 years old.
On July 4, Raghavendra had gone to T.K. Layout to purchase items for his home and he stopped his car near Bisilu Maramma Temple to buy some fruits. It was here that Mohan approached him seeking information about a bank. Mohan told Raghavendra that he was a construction worker from Madhya Pradesh and while working at a site he had got some gold coins.
He claimed that due to lockdown, he could not sell the coins. Falling into the trap, Raghavendra asked Mohan to show the coins and readily agreed to purchase them. He showed Raghavendra four gold coins which he claimed was 400 years old and said that he had 80 such coins in his possession and he was willing to sell them off.
Gold chain displayed
Raghavendra agreed to buy all the coins and Mohan asked him to come to the same place on July 11 at 11 am. Mohan too came to the spot and told Raghavendra that his (Mohan’s) brother Arjun had the coins and was waiting near All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH) campus. Accordingly, Raghavendra and Mohan reached AIISH campus.
There, Arjun took out a gold bead chain from his bag and showed the same to Raghavendra and told him that they had unearthed the chain from a construction site near Kanyakumari eight months back. To gain Raghavendra’s trust, Mohan and Arjun handed over two beads from the chain and asked Raghavendra to get them checked.
Checking the gold
Accordingly, Raghavendra went to a goldsmith who certified that the beads were genuine gold. An elated Raghavendra called up Mohan and asked him to meet near Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Circle (Hardinge Circle). Raghavendra took his friend Jayakumar to the place where Mohan and Arjun claimed that they had such gold-bead chains weighing three kilogram.
“The duo claimed that they were in desperate need for money and told us that they were ready to sell the gold for Rs. 50 lakh. We negotiated with them and told them that I was ready to pay Rs. 30 lakh as I did not have Rs. 50 lakh,” Raghavendra stated in his compliant.
After two days, Raghavendra called up Mohan to finalise the deal and took his car to pick up Mohan and Arjun from Doddakere Maidan and also picked up the third accused Shantha who claimed to be Mohan’s sister in the front of Mysuru Zoo. They left to Hebbal and reached Lakshmikanthaswamy Temple on the Outer Ring Road.
Here too, the accused handed over three beads from the gold chain and Raghavendra’s friend Jayakumar got them examined by a goldsmith. Jayakumar called up Raghavendra and told him that the goldsmith had certified that the beads were indeed made of gold. The accused asked Raghavendra to get the promised Rs. 30 lakh.
Cash handed over
Raghavendra, who had kept the cash with his friend Jayakumar, asked the latter to get the cash to the place where they were standing. They decide to get back to the city from Hebbal. While the accused boarded Raghavendra’s car, Jayakumar followed them in his car to reach Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Circle.
After exchanging pleasantries near Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Circle, Mohan handed over the bag that contained the ornaments to Raghavendra. As promised, Raghavendra took the cash bag from Jayakumar and handed it over to Mohan.
After verifying the cash, Mohan told Raghavendra that next Sunday, he would come to the same place to hand over the gold coins and requested Raghavendra to arrange some buyers. Striking a deal, Raghavendra and Jayakumar returned home and took the ornaments to a goldsmith. They were shocked when the goldsmith told them that the beads were fake. When Mohan was contacted, his phone was switched off.
Raghavendra then filed a complaint at the Saraswathipuram Police Station. Inspector Vijay Kumar said that they had registered a case and were tracing call details of the accused. Tower locations and possible CCTV visuals from T.K. Layout, Hebbal and Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Circle are being scanned for clues, he added.