Retailer dupes expat traders, runs away with RO50,000



Muscat: Two telephone card wholesale dealers in Muscat have filed a case with the local police and sought the help of Interpol to nab a retailer who allegedly ran away with RO50,000 last month.

Anshad and Prasad, the two wholesale traders, claim to have lost RO40,000 and RO10,000 respectively. They allege that Rafeek ran away from Oman on October 31 with the sum.
The accused hails from the south Indian state of Kerala.

Cards on credit

"Telephone cards are usually sold on credit. We were doing business with Rafeek for the last few years. So, we were not suspicious about him," Anshad said.

"But, on October 23, he bought cards for RO40,000 in credit from me and cards for RO10,000 from Prasad, producing cheques for the equivalent amount as guarantee. He also assured us that he would be making the payment on the next day —as usual— after selling the cards," he added.

Cellphone off
"From October 24, his (Rafeek's) cellphone was switched off. We realised that there is something fishy. He might have sold the card and ran away with the money. So we approached the police to trace him and the banks to clear the cheques," Anshad said.

On further investigation, Anshad and Prasad learnt that Rafeek had left Oman after cancelling his visa on October 31.

"It was a shock for us. We ran to the bank but because of bank holidays we were not able to get things done immediately,"

Prasad said.
"Later, when the banks opened, both the cheques that he had given us bounced back. It was then that we approached the police. They have registered a case. Interpol has also been involved in the hunt to nab him," Prasad told Times of Oman.

The Sultanate's police, after completing the initial probe with the evidences like cheques, bills and other business transaction papers, have forwarded the case to Interpol as the culprit has
left Oman.

Indian police informed
Meanwhile, the traders have also approached the Indian police and court to nab the fraudster.
"As he is in India, we have sought the help of the Indian authorities also.

"We will land in neck deep trouble if we are not able to retrieve the money," Anshad and Prasad pointed out.

"When we checked with our own sources in Kerala, we learnt that he is hiding at his relative's house. We trusted him but he has betrayed us," the traders added.

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