A Surat-based diamond merchant has alleged that he has been cheated to the tune of Rs 10 lakh by a woman who posed as a police officer. She said she was posted in Ahmedabad and assured that she would exchange his old currency notes with new notes.
Vinod Lubhani, a resident of Lambe Hanuman Road in Varachha area, runs diamond business in Surat. A few days back, his wife Sarlaben received a call on her mobile phone from a woman who identified herself as Bhavna Jadeja . She said she was her nephew’s wife who lived in Navsari. Bhavna then told her that she had joined the police as a sub-inspector and was now posted in Ahmedabad city. The couple, however, claimed that they had never seen Bhavna as the couple had eloped.
In the course of the conversation, the caller enquired about cash in old currency and what arrangements they had made to exchange it.
Bhavna assured them that she had good contacts with the branch manager of a bank in Surat and that she could manage to get their old cash exchanged. Accordingly, the deal was finalised between Bhavna and Lubhani.
On November 23, Bhavna, dressed in khaki uniform, came to the Lubhani’s house in a car with two youth, identified as Haresh Patel, who also posed as police constable, and car driver Vijay. Lubhani took his son-in-law Parikshit Shah along with the money and sat in their car. They drove till Ghod Dod Road area and parked the car outside a bank.
In the car, Bhavna told Lubhani to hand over the cash to constable Haresh, as she had already talked to the branch manager. After some time, Bhavna told Lubhani that it would take some time, so they went to a nearby hotel to have snacks. Then Bhavna told Lubhani to accompany her as she had some work in Navsari and asked Parikshit to wait for Haresh outside the bank.
On their way at Udhna Darwaja junction, the car stopped and Bhavna told Lubhani to get down as the car had a flat tyre. Once Lubhani alighted from the car, Bhavna told him to wait and disappeared after saying she will get the puncture repaired.
Varachha police inspector C K Patel said, “We are trying to identify the accused on the bases of the CCTV footages. We have also contacted Ahmedabad police for help probe the case.”