Hyderabad: Pretending to be treasure hunters, some gangs from North India are duping people in Hyderabad. It’s easier because people here have a craze for the yellow metal. But they would do well to remember that all that glitters is not gold!
The modus operandi is simple. Gangsters carry fake gold bricks and coins, offering people a chance to buy them at half the market price. They also give them a sample to check and confirm whether it’s actually gold — apparently slicing it off a gold brick — but indulge in the good old switcheroo when handing it over.
“They use a technique called palming — concealing an original gold piece in their hand and switching it quickly without being noticed either by the goldsmith or buyer,” said an investigation official.
Convinced about the quality, the buyer pays lakhs and buys the “gold”, only to realise that they have has been cheated. One of the victims, a retired headmistress from Jubilee Hills, bought two kg “gold” only to find that she had lost her money.
“Hyderabad is not the only place they pull off these offences. They have been duping people in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab for around five years now,” said CCS DCP Avinash Mohanty.
In the case mentioned above, Ayesha Kareema, a retired headmistress from Jubilee Hills, got a call from the gang who introduced themselves as treasure hunters.
“They told me they had a large cache of gold, but did not have contacts to sell in the market. They offered me the gold for half the market price. Since a marriage was coming up in my family, I agreed to buy 2 kg. Initially they asked me to come to Afzalgunj, but later they asked me to go to Tupran since it was a secret deal. When I and two others went there, they took out the gold bricks and showed them to me. In order to check the quality of the gold, they gave us a small piece. It was genuine gold, we found, and so we paid `2 lakh and took some gold. We also agreed on another transaction,” said Ayesha, adding that she later realised that the gold was fake. “I did not know they switched the piece of gold when they gave it to me. They were skilled,” she said.
In another case, the gang contacted one Syed Zainullahbuddin. They gave him a sample and offered it cheap. They told him to go to UP to collect the gold as they were still digging it out. When Zainullahbuddin went to Mathura, they gave him fake gold and took Rs 4 lakh....