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Couple held for duping NRIs, elderly

Posted by on February 17, 2011 0 Comment

New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) A 45-year-old Australia-educated MBA and his wife were arrested for cheating Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) and senior citizens of more than Rs.20 lakh through their fake travel agency, police said Thursday.

Sanjeev Bhatia, along with his wife Topsy Bhatia, cheated Harbaksh Singh Sethi, a 74-year-old NRI, when he purchased an air ticket from the couple Nov 26, 2009.

“A few hours before the departure of the flight Dec 2, 2009, the duo informed Sethi that he would have to make the payment by his credit card, otherwise he would not be able to board the flight,” a police officer said.

According to police, the husband-wife couple would book a ticket after being paid by the client. Then hours before the flight’s departure, they would make the customer pay again through his credit card on the assurance that the earlier sum would be refunded by a post-dated cheque, which would later bounce.

“Sometimes, the accused used to cancel the ticket on the pretext of incomplete documents and would keep the refund with themselves. Bhatia had closed his office recently due to a number of complaints and was operating through his mobile phone,” the police officer added.

The police received a tip-off and arrested the accused Wednesday from Naraina industrial area in west Delhi.

“More than 25 cases are pending against the couple in various courts of Delhi and neighbouring areas. We have seized six credit cards, two mobile phones, three chequebooks of foreign banks, a passbook showing a transaction of more than Rs.10 lakh and a Ford Ikon car,” the police officer said.

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