Crime
The accused allegedly threatened the victim at gunpoint when he tried to count the currency given in exchange.

The Cyberabad police on Friday arrested a man named Suleman Mohammed Khan, for robbing an ‘illegal’ forex agent of $30,000 by holding him at gunpoint last month.

The police said that the incident took place on July 26, when the complainant alleged that the accused, who identified himself as Ahmed Ali alias Arman Sayyed (both false names used by Suleman), asked him to bring 30,000 US dollars and meet him near the Gachibowli Flyover at around 4 pm.

The complainant told the police that the accused then showed up in a red car and took him to TSPA Junction near the Outer Ring Road (ORR).

The accused then allegedly took the 30,000 US dollars and gave him a bundle of notes resembling Rs 2,000 notes. The complainant alleged that when he tried to check the bundle, the accused threatened him at gunpoint, pushed him out of the car and fled.

Based on the complaint, the police immediately swung into action and tracked the CCTV footage of the accused and his vehicle.

The police reportedly observed that on the day of the alleged crime, the accused pulled up in front of the recently-inaugurated ITC Kohinoor Hotel at Madhapur by autorickshaw, collected a car from an accomplice, and then headed to the Gachibowli flyover.

By late afternoon he allegedly returned to the hotel and collected another car, in which he went and met the complainant.

“During the investigation, it came to be known that the accused was frequently staying in star hotels in Cyberabad limits, Bangalore, Udipi and Mangalore of Karnataka state. The Madapur Zone police visited all such hotels and places and collected further details and visuals of the accused. With continuous and sustained efforts, the police have apprehended the accused on August 9 at around 4 pm at Hydershakote,” the police said in a press release.

The police also seized a country made pistol, seven live rounds of ammunition, and a car form the accused.

A history of crime

The police said that 42-year-old Suleman Mohammed Khan resided in Kandi village in Sangareddy district and also had a property in Goa, from where he hails.  

The police said that he constantly shifted from one place to another and kept changing his identity, going with at least 13 names including Sahil Ali Khan, Mohammed Ali Khan, Daniel Sayyad, Sameer Patel, Arman Shah and Ishan among others.

The police said that Khan was born in Goa and that his father was a sand contractor. He worked as a labourer in 1989, went on to become a mason in 1992 and a contractor by 1995. As a contractor, the police said that he earned a huge amount of money, which he invested in purchasing open lands in different parts of Goa.

During the recession between 2007 and 2009, as the real estate market collapsed in Goa, the police said that he shifted to Maharashtra, first to Karad and then to Pune where he stayed till 2012.

“During this time, he developed some ill-feelings with one Gajanan Marne, a dreaded gangster of Pune, over sale and purchase of lands, and at the same time, he cheated one Vimal Rao Konde Deshmukh of Pune over sale and purchase of a land,” the police said.

To avoid his arrest by police, Suleman allegedly left to Bengaluru and then Goa, even as the Pune police were on his trail, investigators said.  

The accused even spent 100 days in Pune's Yerwada jail before being released on bail. After his release, the police said that the accused purchased a country made pistol and ammunition, before going back to Goa.

“While in Goa, he purchased a land from a 75-year-old lady but as his sale agreement was cancelled, on July 30, 2014, he engaged five persons and killed her by injecting some poisonous substance into her body. All his associates were arrested in this murder case and they revealed his name to the police,” the police said.

The accused continued to be on the run, shifting to Mangaluru, Calicut in Kerala and Nagpur in Maharashtra where an associate of Gajanan Marne allegedly threatened to kill him.  

“During this time, he purchased a 250 sq yards house plot in Makthal of Mahaboobnagar district for Rs 4.5 lakh. Thereafter he moved in Mangalore, Bangalore and Hyderabad and was involved in exchange of demonetised currency for a commission. At this time, he came in contact with one Muthu Swamy of Chennai through a priest of ISKCON temple in Bangalore and exchanged some demonetised currency, before cheating him of Rs 30 lakh,” the police said.

From November 2016 till the end of 2017, the police said that he cheated many people in the same manner before purchasing a house in Sangareddy district.

He soon shifted his modus operandi, allegedly tracking phone numbers of people exchanging US dollars through the Just Dial app, even travelling to Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, taking illegal currency exchange dealers and agents into confidence, before cheating them.

The police said that they recovered one Aadhar Card, 7 PAN cards, 5 driving licences and 3 voter ID cards with different names at different places, even purchasing properties and vehicles under different pseudonyms.