Chennai: Tracking irregular activity from her mobile phone, a special team of Chennai police nabbed ‘serial- bride’ Shahanaz Ismail at the Majestic bus terminus in Bangalore. The woman, believed to have duped at least eight men from the State into marrying her and then taking some money off them, was on the run from the cops and would have left the Garden City, if the cops hadn’t closed in on her. “She was standing at a platform and was about to board a bus, when our SI spotted her,” said a police source.
In fact, the much-married woman looked very different from the youthful 25-yearold from the wedding photos, added the policeman. “We watched her for a while and finally a team member approached her and made casual inquiries. Once she slipped up nervously, we nabbed her,” confirmed the source. After they made the arrest at 8.15 pm on Saturday, she was brought back and interrogated at the Shastri Nagar Police Station on Sunday.
The search for Shahanaz began a while ago, after one of the duped men — Saravanan from Adyar — lodged a complaint that she had decamped with Rs 25,000 of his money and a two- sovereign gold chain. The clinching point that made police suspect a pattern was that she had promised to marry him as soon as she returned from a wedding in Vellore.
After her picture began to do the rounds in the media, four other men came forward with similar complaints — two of whom had proof that she had married them and then decamped with their money. During interrogation, Shahanaz claimed that she was 25 years old and had borne a child to a man from her village in Kalinjur, when she was in Class X.
After she saw an ad for a store attendant’s job at a supermarket in Vepery, she relocated and worked there till 2007. After this, she married an art director named Rahul in Tiruchy, before separating from him within six months. She eventually returned to the supermarket’s owner Shamsuddin with a sob story of domestic violence and torture and allegedly won him over.
Pretending to depend solely on his “love and support” she borrowed Rs 1.85 lakh from him to buy some land. He never heard from her again, but didn’t file a complaint as he didn’t want any problems, said police. She explained to cops how she found a job in a BPO in Taramani, through which she came into contact with all the other men she “married or carried on with”, as a senior cop put it.
Though she was remanded in custody at the Saidapet court, police said independent cheating cases would be registered against her at Vepery, Porur, Mambalam, Pulianthope, Mangadu and Thiruvottriyur.