10-member family of confidence tricksters busted in Bihar

Patna, Oct 21 (IANS) Ten members of a family, who conned people out of their money while posing as rich business persons, were arrested on charge of cheating a mahant of an ashram in Bihar’s Buxar district, police said on Friday.

The four men and six women took Rs 46 lakh from the mahant on the pretext of supplying pure-bred cows from Rajasthan and Haryana, police said.

Family head Mohanlal Agrawal alias Jaidev Prasad, his wife Chanda Bai, their three sons Mukesh Sharma, Chotku, Raju and their five daughters Nirmala Devi, Joyti Bala, Pallavi, Pinki and Tunu were arrested, apart from a five-year-old son of Nirmala.

Buxar Deputy Superintendent of Police Shaisav Yadav said the accused even used the child while conning people.

The gang had been operating for the last 31 years in different states across India and even neighbouring Nepal, the DSP said.

Explaining their modus operandi, Yadav said each family member was assigned specific work to ensure the success of their cheating operation. “The family stayed in temples and ‘ashrams’ or ‘maths’ in towns and posed as rich businessmen dealing in marble and cows.”

After conning their victims, the family switched off their mobile phones and disappeared.

However, the family forgot to switch off one of their mobile phones after conning mahant Rajaram Saran Das of Sitaram Ashram, who had lodged a police complaint.

Police tracked the location of the mobile phone and arrested the accused from Sitamarhi district while they were planning to target the head of famous Ram-Sita temple at Janakpur in Nepal, Yadav said.