Hyderabad: 3 Iranian nationals held for attention diversion theft scam

The modus operandi of the Iranian nationals is was to show US dollars to the shop vendors & other gullible people, and to ask them for an exchange

Hyderabad: Three Iranian nationals have been arrested by the Rachakonda police for cheating people through an ‘attention diversion’ racket. The accused, who were facing financial difficulties due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown recently, would talk with victims about exchanging US dollars for Indian currency, and then trick them.

According to Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh M. Bhagwat, the modus operandi of the Iranian nationals is was to show US dollars to the shop vendors & other gullible people, and to ask them for an exchange. After gaining their confidence, they would take Indian currency notes from victims, divert their attention by keeping them busy with small talk, and steal some of the notes by folding few notes together.

They would trick unsuspecting victims while counting money like that. Normally, victims would take back their notes from the offenders without noticing that few of the notes were slyly kept by the accused. The victims would later realise that they were cheated. After receiving two complaints at the LB Nagar police station, the police arrested the trio, after which it was found that they are Iranian nationals.

The accused have been identified as Mohammed Hussain, Vaheed Rajab and Naseer Abhidi, who were all residing in Toli Chowki until their arrest. After getting nabbed by the Rachakonda police, they confessed to their offences and revealed that they had all come to India at different times over the last 18 months. They were living in Delhi, where they used to trade in the clothes business.

Prior to committing crime, they used to buy clothes at markets in Delhi and send it to Teharan, where there is a huge demand for Indian clothes. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown all over India their business was hampered. As there was no full lockdown in Hyderabad, they came here in April and stayed at Paramount Colony in Towlichowki. Due to financial trouble, they committed five offences under the Rachakonda, Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates.

Of the five offences, two were committed under the LB Nagar police station (Rachakonda jurisdiction). In the first case, the three accused went to a rice shop at Mansoorbadand, asked for rice and informed the shop vendor that they had US Dollars which they wanted to exchange. They managed to steal Rs. 30,000 from the counter as a customer had come to the shop, which distracted the owner.

After both cases were reported, teams of from the LB nagar police station and central crime station studied the crime and started tracking CCTV cameras to arrest the accused. They were finally arrested on June 5 at the Sagar ring road, LB Nagar. After their arrest, the police found Rs.35000 cash, 811 US dollars and a Maruti Swift car in their possession.

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