PUNE: A land developer from Kerala, who resides in Thergaon, was cheated to the tune of Rs 1.52 crores over a period of more than six years by a couple of unidentified telecallers and about 12 bank account.
The suspects extracted the money from the 44-year-old man by convincing him that he could claim the Rs 100-crore lottery amount won by his friend, if he cleared the payments and dues.
One of the fees that the businessman was asked to pay was the dubious sounding “money laundering charge”. Yet, it did not ring the warning bells for him and he bought into the lies for years.
The businessman lodged a complaint with the Wakad police on Saturday after realising that he had been cheated.
As per the first information report (FIR), the businessman keeps shuttling between Pune and Kerala. He runs a land development business in a couple of cities in Kerala.
According to the police, in August 2012, he received a call from an unidentified telecaller who said that his friend had won a lottery of Rs100 crore. The telecaller also gave him the name and details of the company of the lottery that his friend had purportedly won. The telecaller had then added that since the friend was not available, the company was willing to deposit the sum in the land developer’s bank account. This was a tempting offer, and he accepted it, the police said.
After that, the suspects repeatedly called the businessman and asked him to pay different fees and taxes — such as GST, money transfer charges, processing fees, stamp duty and many others and even money laundering charges — to the company. The suspects gave him as many as 13 bank accounts to deposit these taxes and fees and the businessman complied, the FIR said
Since 2012, the businessman had deposited a total of Rs 1.52 crore in the 13 bank accounts, the police said.
Police added the businessman did not verify the facts with his friend before initiating the process to obtain the lottery sum. However, after years of repeated calls from the telecallers, he realised that the suspects were just demanding money but were not releasing the lottery amount, police said. He then knew that he had been duped.
TOI tried to contact the land developer several times for a comment, but his phone was not reachable.
Source- Times of India.