Two men were arrested in Nagpada for allegedly cheating on an 82-year-old woman of Rs 39.6 lakh. The woman, who wished to get her granddaughter married off and help her daughter solve her marital problems, was defrauded by two Islamic scholars. After being told by a relative that she was being duped, a case was registered and the duo, identified as Hanif Shaikh and Imran Sayyed, were arrested.
Shaikh was introduced to the complainant, Aasma Abbas, by a common friend in June 2019. She was told that he would help her solve her family problems, including getting her granddaughter married off and addressing the marital woes faced by her daughter.
Shaikh inspected the woman’s house and claimed that someone had cast a spell on her house. Shaikh managed to gain her trust and said he could cast out the evil spell that had been placed upon her house.
“He said that he was possessed by a genie which wanted him to carry out certain rituals to help the women. He subsequently sought money to conduct the rituals,” said an officer.
When the complainant refused to pay, Shaikh threatened that the genie would get upset and cause more problems in her life. The woman then sold off and mortgaged her jewelleries to pay Shaikh.
Shaikh, who did not visit her during the lockdown, would call her and claim that he had been talking to the genie and performing rituals for her family.
In September, Shaikh took another person to the woman’s house and said he had supernatural powers and with his prayers, he could cause a “money shower” to take place in her house.
“I allowed him to pray in the prayer room. After his prayers, when Hanif and I went to the room, we saw sudden showers of money (notes),” she said in her statement to the police. The duo collected the money, kept it in a drawer of her cupboard and told her not to open it until her wish was fulfilled.
As they had managed to gain her trust by performing such acts, they kept demanding money on the pretext of performing the rituals. Till January, she had paid Rs 39.6 lakh to the fraudsters.
However, in the first week of January they demanded another Rs 10 lakh from her and as she had run out of cash and already sold off her jewelleries, she started approaching her relatives for money. Eventually, one of the relatives went to her house and asked her to show the money that the duo had kept in her cupboard.