Fraudster acts as 'ustad', steals gold, cash from madrasa teacher, blames theft on 'chathan'

Mohammed Shafi.

Kozhikode: Payyoli police arrested a man who impersonated a madrasa teacher and reportedly stole Rs 1.25 lakh in cash and gold jewellery worth around Rs 3.5 lakh from the house of another madrasa teacher.

Mohammed Shafi, a native of Uppala in Kasaragod district, has been charged with theft in house (Section 380 of the IPC) and breaking open a cupboard (section 461 of the IPC).

When the family caught Shafi, he tried to fool them by blaming 'chathan' for the missing gold and money, said Payyoli station house officer Krishnan M. "Shafi told the complainant that 'chathan' took the money and gold and he will get it back at the right time," said the inspector. "It was an obvious ploy to fool the family. Shafi was not into witchcraft," he said.

Police said the complainant, a native of Palakkad and resident of Payyoli, was a teacher at a Madrasa, and he met Shafi during a train journey. "Shafi introduced himself as an 'ustad' and the two got along," said Krishnan.

Later, Shafi moved to a house closer to the complainant's, and he was a frequent visitor.

During this time, the complainant had loaned Rs 75,000 to Shafi, said Payyoli station writer Rajesh K.

The alleged theft happened on September 22, according to the complaint. The family lost 60g of gold jewellery and Rs 1.25 lakh in cash, the money they were saving to build a house.

Two weeks later, on October 8, Shafi came home and when the complainant's family questioned him, he blamed the theft on Chathan. After that, he went missing.

Payyoli police picked Shafi up from Kozhikode on Monday. "After his arrests, several people have contacted the station alleging Shafi had duped them. Looks like we have a seasoned criminal in our hands," said inspector Krishnan.

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