Police sources told GoaChronicle.com that the accused Rafiq Mohammed used to publish advertisements in local newspapers inviting people to call on a particular telephone number to join the friendship club. The membership was upwards of Rs 5,000, which was to be deposited in a particular bank account.
“Mohammed used to con his customers by withdrawing the money through the net-banking service, the moment they deposited the membership amount,” a police official said.
Police said that many had fallen victim to the tricks of the “sweet-talking and well-groomed” conman.
Acting on a tip-off that the accused had fixed a meeting with a woman (who had offered to join the club) at a city restaurant on Monday afternoon, police sent a lady constable as a decoy to trap the accused.
Posing as ‘Sushmita’ and expressing her willingness to offer her “friendship” to male members of the club, the lady constable began chatting with the conman. The accused conversed fluently in English, police sources said. Once a deal was struck for the services offered, the policemen who were lying-in-wait outside the restaurant in civil clothes casually went up to the accused and confronted him. Taken by surprise, the accused tried to put up a brave face, but realized that his game was up, once the police revealed their identity.
Margao police are conducting further investigations into this racket.