MUMBAI: The city police have detained three individuals, an engineer, a bank employee, and a graduate, for creating a fictitious Facebook page for a city-based electronics store and misleading customers by offering discounted air conditioners.

Three Ahmedabad citizens, Devyang Patel, 28, an engineering graduate, Alpesh Sonkusre, 24, a private bank employee, and Priyansh Khatri, 21, were detained. Khatri told the police that he had been a victim of online fraud in the past. He claimed that a guy cheated him of Rs 4,500 by accepting money from him, promising to sell him mobile phones for a reduced price, but never sending him a phone. The proprietor of an electronics store on Grant Road called the police after getting calls from customers who had seen the Facebook post.

Three people collectively paid Rs 96,000,” said a police officer.

The D B Marg police station received a report of a felony. The name of the complainant’s shop and its GST number were on the false Facebook account, the police discovered during their investigation. The officer said, “We first arrested Sonkusre and then the other two accused, investigating the money path and the bank account. Khatri was the one who would get in touch with folks to ask about the cost. The accused would create bogus invoices for goods, include the shop’s name and GST number, and send them to customers.

The buyer would then be given the bank account number and asked to make a deposit.

The buyers were never given an air conditioner by them. After receiving payment, if a client continued to contact, Khatri would ban that number.

Patel, who worked in Russia and returned to India before Covid, was planning to go back to Russia. At the time of arrest, he was working in an industrial area in Gujarat. Sonkusre worked in a bank and opened accounts for his associates.

Similar violations were allegedly committed by the defendants, and complaints were filed against them in the Mumbai police stations of Wadala, V P Road, and Parksite, as well as the police stations of Valive and Vasai.

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