CHENNAI: A three-member gang engaged in selling 45 air-conditioners worth Rs 12 lakh, obtained through dubious means, at a discount, was arrested, while search is on for the mastermind behind the racket.
Police said the complainant, M Gopinath, operated Jayashree Agencies in Vellore and he received an online message from Senthil Kumar of Madipakkam, saying that he required 45 ACs for his new office. The two men subsequently met at Washermenpet and Senthil Kumar handed over a cheque for `12 lakh and a copy of the documents pertaining to his office to the dealer. Gopinath delivered the 45 Blue Star ACs and later deposited the cheque in the bank. He received a shock when the cheque bounced.
When he tried to contact Senthil over the cell phone, he received a ‘switched off’ message. Senthil’s company address too turned out to be bogus. Gopinath then lodged a complaint with the Washermenpet police.
Two police teams formed to trace the conman received a tip-off that Senthil and his gang were selling the 45 ACs at below market prices and without issuing receipts in and around Tambaram. The cops intercepted a Tata Eicher near a hotel on GST Road and a search yielded 27 AC units. The driver Anandan and three occupants Thirumurugan, Velan and Ashok alias Ashok Kumar were picked up and grilled.
They said that Senthil, who also went by the alias of Manoj, had loaded the ACs into the vehicles and asked them to drive to Tambaram, where they were going to sell them at below market prices. The four men were arrested and the 27 Blue Star AC machines worth `8 lakh and the mini-lorry worth ` 6 lakh seized. Enquiries showed that Senthil stayed with his wife and children on Kannagi Street in Madipakkam and had several cheating cases pending against him.