Bizman duped in hunt for profit

An Andhra Pradesh businessman was duped of Rs 9 lakh by a gang by making him buy a bulk order of ‘cancer medicine’ for resale to them, police said.

Uppati Augustin Moses, who hails from Visakhapatnam, was nudged into acting as a middleman for ‘hazaara root’, which supposedly a Netherlands-based company wanted to buy for preparing cancer medicine.

But the ‘supplier’ himself was a member of the same gang, police said. Though Augustin paid him nearly Rs 9 lakh for 20 packets of the herb, the fake company refused to buy it in turn from him. 

“At least four persons, including a woman, were part of the gang that targeted Augustin. Our probe revealed that no such hajaraa root is used for preparation of medicine for cancer treatment. Augustin was not aware of it before he made the payment,” a police officer said.

Augustin told police that Chrissi Benson of Alliance Herbal Laboratory in the Netherlands had contacted him saying her company was interested in purchasing hajaraa root.

Chrissi also provided a contact number to Augustin, claiming it was of a man named Sanjeev Thakral, who deals in hajaraa root in Delhi. Chrissi induced Augustin to purchase hajaraa root from Sanjeev at Rs 45,000 per 50 grams and to sell it to her company at $3,100 per 50 grams, approximately Rs 1.80 lakh.

“Chrissi had sent a purchase order of 100 packets. She offered to keep 40 per cent of the total profit and give 60 per cent to Augustin,” the officer added. Uppati came to Delhi on October 5 and ordered a sample packet from Sanjeev. 

On October 6, a man named George O’Neil called Augustin and introduced himself as a delegate of Alliance Herbal Laboratory. But George refused to take delivery. 

“On this, I got suspicious and enquired about hajaraa root. I was surprised to know that no such hajaraa root is used for preparation of medicine,” Augustin said in his complaint to police. 

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