Fake BSES team fixes meters, demands Rs 1 lakh bribe

A gang of former BSES employees has been conducting raids in the capital claiming to be on behalf of the Reliance-owned power discom. One of at least seven members of the gang has been arrested, police said on Saturday.

The gang accuses customers of illegally tampering with the meter and demands a payment of Rs 5 lakh as the bill for stolen electricity.

A bribe of Rs 1 lakh is later sought to settle the matter. On Friday, one of the accused identified as 33-year-old Manoj Kumar Pandey, a resident of south Delhi’s Mehrauli, was arrested.

During interrogation, Manoj told police that initially, one or two persons used to visit the house for meter-checking on routine basis by BSES.

“They would tamper the meter during checking. Later, they would return to the house in a group of five-seven persons after two-three days,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav.
The gang used to claim that the meter had been tampered with illegally and the customer would have to pay a heavy fine.

They used to remove the meter and claim that the customer would have to make the payment to have the electricity restored. The matter is finally settled for lesser amounts.
Manoj has also revealed that he and the gang members used to earlier work with BSES on contract basis.

“They are well aware about the working of BSES and on the methods to tamper the electricity meter,” Yadav added.

The gang was busted on probe after a complaint was filed by Sharmila Sharma, a resident of south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar.

She told police that seven men had visited her house on May 18 claiming to be BSES employees.
“Sharmila was told that BSES had received a complaint regarding the tampering of electricity meter at the house. They opened the meter and conducted extensive checking,” Yadav said.

After checking the meter, they alleged tampering and told Sharmila that she will get a power theft bill of Rs 5 lakh. When Sharmila refused to pay, she was made to talk on the phone with a “senior officer”.

Electricity was cut and would not have been restored without payment.
The man on the phone claimed that he would close the matter if she paid Rs 1 lakh. Sharmila paid Rs 40,000.

The men had said they would restore the electricity after two days. When they did not return, Sharmila went to the BSES office and realised that she had been cheated.

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