Police suspect inter-state gang in ‘rice-puller’ scam


Suspecting a nexus between the kidnappers and victims in the ‘rice-puller’ scam, Ponda police now believe that an inter-state gang could have staged the entire kidnapping drama to dupe a man from Curchorem of Rs 1 crore by assuring to sell him the metal object purported to have magical powers.
Police stated that the ‘rice puller’ racket has been operating in different parts of the country, after similar scams were reported at Shimoga and Bangalore (Karnataka) as well as in New Delhi in recent times.
It may be recalled that Ponda police had registered a case of kidnapping and impersonation against four unknown accused on Thursday.
Vasta had claimed that three persons from Belgaum, who were supposed to give him a ‘rice puller’ at a Ponda Hotel, were “kidnapped” by four unknown persons claiming to be CBI officers. Vasta said he had advanced Rs 1 crore to the three Belgaum men. 
“People have been falling prey to this ‘rice-puller’ racket after they have been fooled into believed that the ‘rice puller’ has some magical power and is in high demand in the international market,” said a police official on condition of anonymity.
While pursuing investigations from the kidnapping angle, as mentioned in the complaint, police is also probing the possibility that Vasta may have been cheated by a group of persons.  [H]