Drawing inspiration from a Bollywood movie and dressed in safari suits, they would pretend to be policemen and accost old women wearing expensive jewellery. They would make the women believe a murderer or a chain snatcher was on the run, and would ask them to wrap their jewellery in a cover — only to swap it with duplicates.
This four-member group, which went by the name Irani gang because their forefathers were from Persia, was busted on Saturday. Police said they had cheated more than 35 people in the last two years in west Delhi.
The most recent incident took place on April 9, when a 74-year-old woman was cheated. The case was transferred to the Special Staff of the West District, led by inspector S S Sadhu. In six days, police arrested four people.
A police source said while the case was under investigation, they scanned cases from 2010 to 2015 with the same modus operandi. “In 2012-13, we found similar cases and realised the accused had the address of Ambivali near Mumbai. We eventually discovered that the gang would assemble at
Masjid Lane in Bhogal. We picked up the four men, including the kingpin Naasir, from there,” police said.
Police said Naasir Hafiz Khan had been committing similar crimes since 2005. There are 13 cases against him, including a MCOCA case which prompted him to leave Mumbai in 2015.
DCP (West Delhi) Vijay Kumar said that the ancestors of the accused came from Persia along with Golconda kings, who had appointed them as their bodyguards. “Because of their strong physique and bravery, they were considered fine warriors. That’s where they get the name Irani gang from,” he said.