Posing as scientist, man uses ‘rice-puller’ to cheat people
CBD BELAPUR: The city crime branch has arrested three people who cheated people by offering ‘rice puller’ at a cheaper rate.
The police have also seized a Fortuner and Ertiga along with walkie-talkies from the accused.
Rice puller is believed to be an item which attracts or pulls rice like a magnet attracts iron particles. They are copper-iridium coins with a mint date of 1616 that are reported to have magical qualities. The police said no such thing exists and that it is a scam.
Senior police inspector of crime unit 1, Devidas Sonawane, learnt that a person had been cheated near NRI Colony. A complaint was registered in this regard on March 9.
A trap was laid near Delhi Public School, next to the NRI complex. The crime branch team arrested Punju Pujari, 35, a resident of Dombivli, Santosh Shinde, 35, a resident of Goregaon, and Dhanashree Rane, 35, a resident of Andheri.
Deputy commissioner of police (crime) Dilip Sawant said, “Pujari claimed to be a metallurgist, and the other two accused were his assistants who would go around asking people if they
had old vessels. They would tell them they could check if the vessel was a rice puller.”
Sawant said, “He would then offer to get it tested for its genuineness from BARC and would ask for a deposit of Rs4,25,000.”
He added, “He would take the customer to a secluded area, place a vessel that is a rice puller in a box, apply an oily solution to it. He would use the heat measuring kit and a thermometer kit that he had along with his laptop to test the vessel. He would then sell the vessel for Rs10 lakh.”
Sawant said, “Pujari originally hails from Karnataka and is Class 12 fail. He had been working at CST at a tea stall. He met some Bengali babas who indulged in black magic who taught him the tricks.”
He added, “To impress his clients, he would hire walkie talkie equipped bodyguards who accompanied him.” The police have seized a copper vessel covered in oil kept in a plastic box and the rice puller testing kits, laptop and also three identity cards of Pujari.
Crime branch officers display the equipment seized from the three arrested people on Saturday.