They duped people with ‘cheap’ phones
A three-member gang from Muktagacha of Mymensingh that has been embezzling lakhs of taka by baiting people with fancy gadgets at low prices on bikroy.com has been nabbed by the police.
In less than a year, the trio -- Sojayet Ahmed Shikon, 21; Al Amin, 20; and Sahinur Rahman Biplob, 26 -- has appropriated more than Tk 21 lakh in cash and bought a car, two motorcycles and constructed a one-story building in their district.
The gang first collected registered SIM cards of different operators for Tk 350 to Tk 500 and opened Gmail accounts with the numbers. With the Gmail accounts, they advertised the gadgets on bikroy.com, the country's largest classified ad site.
In addition, for communication with interested buyers, they pretended to be serving police members to gain trust.
Once people showed interest in the mobile phones advertised, the trio asked for 50 percent of the amount, according to Junaed Alam Sharker, additional deputy commissioner of police's detective branch (DB).
They then provided false booking receipts of Sundarban Courier Service as proof of shipping and demanded the remaining sum.
The gang used to collect the courier's booking books from a broker for Tk 30,000-35,000.
Once the trio got the full sum through mobile financial service, they destroyed the numbers and took down the ads from the site.
Sometimes, the gang members used to call buyers posing as courier staff to gain trust, Sharker added.
The trio's cheating ways came to the police's notice after they used the ID card of police constable Shariful Islam, now serving at Dhaka Range unit.
On Friday, a police team conducted a drive in Mymensingh and arrested the trio, said Mohidul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of police's detective branch (DB).
Police also recovered 12 cell phones, 279 SIM cards, 16 booking books of Sundarban Courier Service, 10 rubber stamps of the courier company, two laptops and details of 720 Gmail accounts from their possessions.
Contacted, Hafizur Rahman Pulok, proprietor of Sundarban Courier Service, said he was not aware of the trading of his company's booking receipts by a third party.
"We will definitely inquire and take action," he said.
Eshita Sharmin, managing director of bikroy.com, said the platform keeps the full database and documents of its paying members.
For individual users, the platform verifies the mobile number and the e-mail address.
"However, we always give caution in site for the interested buyers that they must make the payment by verifying the product and sellers. We also have a separate team that works closely with law enforcers to take steps against such activities," Sharmin said.
The correspondent managed to speak with Shikon as the police were taking him to Dhaka court in a case filed with Mirpur Model Police Station under the Digital Security Act on November 18.
Shikon said that he has embezzled about Tk 7-8 lakh through fake advertisements.
Asked how they managed to get the police officer's ID, Shikon said that Islam once provided the ID while purchasing a mobile phone from them. "We later used the ID to convince the other sellers," he said.
Arrestee Biplob said that he got involved through his relative Al Amin. "I was tempted after seeing Al Amin become the owner of a car, a motorcycle and a one-story building," he said.
Muhammad Shariful Islam, the deputy commissioner of DB's Cyber and Special Crime Division, said they are trying to bring to book those who sold pre-registered mobile numbers.
"We are also investigating whether any Bikroy.com or Sundarban Courier staff were involved with the gang."