HIS WEAKNESS for high-end mobile phones landed a 25-year-old south Mumbai resident behind bars after it came to light that he had allegedly cheated a courier agency and an e-retail major by ordering expensive phones at wrong addresses and then fleeing without paying.
The crime branch eventually arrested Mehran Tarani after three FIRs were registered against him at two police stations. So far, the police have recovered three mobile phones together worth over Rs 1.75 lakh from him.
A Crime Branch officer said that on August 12, the Pydhonie police station registered a case of cheating against an unidentified person who ordered a mobile phone from an e-retailer’s site, collected the phone and fled.
“When the courier boy reached the address at Nagdevi street in Pydhonie given by Tarani, he could not locate the house. He then called the buyer on the given mobile number. Tarani told him he was nearby and would meet him in a minute. He took the mobile phone and told the courier boy he had forgotten his wallet in his car parked nearby. The mobile in his hands, Tarani left the crowded street and did not return,” the officer said.
While probing this case, the Crime Branch was informed of two similar cases registered at the JJ Marg police station. “We suspected the three cases were linked because of the similar modus operandi and the fact that they took place around the same area,” the officer said.
The police then checked the call records of the mobile number that Tarani had used to speak with the courier boys. They found that in all three cases, while the mobile numbers had changed, the same mobile handset had been used. The police checked the other SIM cards used on the particular phone and found most of them registered in Tarani’s name.
The fact that Tarani resided in Pydhonie further confirmed their suspicions.
The police interrogated Tarani, who allegedly confessed to having been involved in all three cases. “His father owns a popular garment store in the area. However, he had a weakness for new mobile phones and would keep checking them out on e-commerce websites. Soon, he could not resist the temptation and decided to take a chance by ordering a phone on the wrong address. When it worked out once, he tried the same trick again,” the officer said.