Police have arrested four members of the Irani gang, who used to rob elderly women of their jewellery by posing as Crime Branch or CBI officers.
The miscreants were inspired by Akshay Kumar-starrer Bollywood film 'Special 26'. While posing as cops, two of them used to wear safari suits like police officers in 'mufti' (plain clothes), said DCP (West) Vijay Kumar.
Two of the accused are wanted in two separate Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) cases by Mumbai Police's Crime Branch, he added.
The gang members used to target elderly people, mostly women. One of them used to approach the victim posing as a cop and narrate a story about a murderer or a notorious robber or chain-snatcher being on the prowl in the area, police said.
Another member of the gang would then arrive at the spot wearing a gold chain and he too would be cautioned by the fake cop against wearing gold.
The person cautioned would then hand over his gold chain and watch to the fake cop.
In most cases, the unsuspecting victim would follow suit and hand over all of her valuables to the fake cop, who would wrap them in a cover and return the same to the owner, said the officer.
In reality, while talking to the victim, the accused would replace the jewellery with cheap imitations.
By the time the victim would realise that she had been conned, the accused would disappear from the spot.
On April 9, one Ramesh Kumari Verma (74) approached the police with a complaint, alleging that while she was going to some place with her husband, two fake policemen approached them and conned them following the modus operandi mentioned above.
Several such incidents from west Delhi and adjoining areas subsequently came to the notice of the police and a team was formed under the supervision of ACP (Operations, West) Jagjit Sangwan.
Yesterday, police received information that the gang members would assemble at Masjid Lane in Bhogal, from where four of them were arrested.
With the arrest of the four -- Naasir Hafiz Khan, Asu Shahjman Saiyad, Barkat Ali and Zafar Abbas Amjad Seikh -- the police claim to have solved over 100 such cases reported from Delhi, Gurugram and other states.
Naasir, the kingpin of the gang, and Zafar are wanted in MCOCA cases by the Mumbai Police.
Naasir has told the cops that after MCOCA charges were slapped on him, he shifted to Delhi from Mumbai with the help of his in-laws.
He used a fake identity of Sameer Ali in Delhi and formed the gang by inducting his associates from Mumbai, said the DCP.
Zafar, a distant relative of Naasir, was also called to Delhi by him.
Three fake Delhi Police identity cards and two fake Police Mitra identity cards issued in Maharashtra were seized from Naasir. A fake Aadhaar card and a fake PAN card in the name of Sameer Ali were also seized.
The accused belong to the Irani Basti in Ambivali, Mumbai.
"Their ancestors were brought from (erstwhile) Persia by the Golconda kings who appointed them as their personal bodyguards.
"Over the years, they gained expertise in cheating people by posing as policemen. The Irani gang name was given by the police," said the officer.