Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Student held for duping several flyers across different airports

Mumbai: A second-year college dropout (agriculture student) is in the custody of police who was wanted for duping several flyers across airports in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai to the tune of over Rs 1.75 lakh in the last six months.

Accused identified as Modella Venkat Dineshkumar (22), a Guntur resident from Andhra Pradesh, siphoned off money from the flyers claiming that he has missed the flight and urgently needed to fly to Chandigarh to attend a medical exam scheduled there. Dineshkumar travelled to different airports to dupe high-profile flyers in the range of Rs 7,500 to Rs 10,000 or more on the promise of returning it soon after he reaches home, said the police.

Luck ran short for Dineshkumar when he tried to dupe a Nagpur resident, Raghunandan Thakare (27) a marine engineer, on June 14, 6months after duping the victim with similar modus operandi at the Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) on January 1.

“Dineshkumar was caught after he came in front of the same flyer whom he (accused) did not remember but the later recognised when Rs 7,500 was demanded to buy a flight ticket to fly to Chandigarh to attend an exam. His victim’s believed his claims and gave money without any suspicion,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone VIII) Manjunath Singe.

The marine engineer, Thakare, got suspicious when he noticed Dineshkumar near the baggage belt and even asked for help on June 13. Thakare was at the airport to fly to Nagpur when came across Dineshkumar for the second time. In the complaint, Thakare said, “I got emotional when the accused showed the flight ticket and informed me that he missed the flight to Chandigarh and will miss the flight. I transferred Rs 7,500 through an e-wallet to buy a flight ticket. He assured me to repay once he reaches home. A few days later when I called him he made fun of me.”

This time, Dineshkumar’s claim did not work out and Thakare called the police control and got him arrested after a team led by assistant inspector Swati Nalawade reached the airport. “Dineshkumar’s modus operandi varied depending on the flyers profile. He would fool flyers from missing flight to give the exam, he is flying to Vijayawada as his mother is seriously ill and wanted urgent money, wanted to pay fees for his medical exam. In the last six months, he claimed to have duped at least 13 flyers of over Rs 1.75 lakh from several airports across the country. We are collecting details of the total number of people he has duped,” said Sahar police senior inspector Dinkar Shilvate.

15/06/21 Narayanan Namboodiri/Times of India

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