Can a few puffs and samoosa bring in quick bucks?
As improbable that may sound, two youngsters nabbed by the Mulanthuruthy police last week had allegedly hatched such a plan and were successfully implementing it. One of the co-accused remains yet to be grabbed.
The plan was a rather tried and tested one and used in umpteen Malayalam movies to evoke a few guffaws. “They used to drop in at a bakery where they had some snacks and then bought a few as parcel. In an hour or so, they returned all worked up over a dead lizard in the parcel box. They then put up quite a show with one of them even feigning to double up in pain with stomach ache,” said E.V. Raju, Mulanthuruthy Assistant Sub Inspector.
When the bakery owner offered to take them to the hospital, they rather demanded compensation not to make the incident public. The accused allegedly used to demand ₹50,000 though they settled for much less exploiting the anxiety of bakery owners scared over a potential blot on their shop’s reputation.
They successfully pulled off the ploy and usurped ₹23,500 from a bakery and ₹3,500 from another.
Emboldened, they could have probably gone on with it, if not for a local merchants’ meet in which one of the victims shared his experience only to realise that someone else had been fooled the same way. Wasting no more time, they lodged a petition with the Mulanthuruthy police.
Shortly thereafter, the police tracked down one of the accused and then feigned as a bakery owner willing to pay more to keep them quiet to nab the other.
“It emerged that they had used the same modus operandi to cheat around ₹20,000 from another bakery owner at Thripunithura and two bakeries at Vaikom from where two of the accused hail,” said Mr. Raju.