In a bizarre incident, a man from Ezhukone, in Kollam duped a journalist into raising money for his ‘daughter’, who was purportedly ill.
Arun BL Koliyoor, a journalist with Malayalam Television met Salim, the 42-year-old accused in the case, on a bus journey from Pathanamthitta to Thiruvananthapuram on the morning of April 17. He introduced himself to Arun as Jose, hailing from Kundara in Kollam.
“He was crying over the phone several times, while pretending to be talking to his friends and relatives during the journey about the illness of his daughter. He was saying that there is no way other than suicide, before him and his family if his daughter did not recover. Then I asked him about the problem, and he said that his 14-year old daughter Bincy was suffering from blood cancer and was undergoing treatment at Vellore Hospital,” Arun told The News Minute.
“He also told me that his daughter lost vision in both eyes after surgery and was in ICU. He was seeking help from those he was talking to, over the phone, for further treatment of his daughter. He even showed me some documents of the treatment, which the police have now found to be fake,” Arun added.
Arun gave him money during the bus journey and started a Facebook campaign on the same day by the evening. “But by afternoon of the next day, I became sceptical as his number was switched off. Some of my friends also called him, but there was no response,” Arun said.
Arun and his friends, along with the channel’s reporter in Kollam, managed to collect details of the accused from his phone number and later realized that it was a case of cheating.
He filed a complaint at the Ezhukone police station on Wednesday evening. In the investigation that followed, it was found that Salim who is still absconding, had pending cases of cheating against him and he has no daughter.
Arun later put another post on Facebook requesting his friends not to put any money into the account. By that time, around Rs three lakh was already credited into the account given by Salim, out of which the accused had withdrawn around Rs 30,000. The police have now frozen the account. The account is in the name of the woman who is the live-in partner of Salim. The police have taken the woman into custody.
“She told us she has no information about Salim, which we assume is not true. There is one cheating case pending against Salim in Ezhukone police station and around four cases in some other stations in Kollam,” Sub Inspector Ezhukone station, Abdul Manaf said.