Madurai: Two persons from Kerala and Karnataka were arrested by the police on Thursday for selling fake electronic gadgets to tourists and Sabarimala devotees at Kanyakumari. The arrest was following a video that went viral in the social media, alleging sale of such items, misusing the banner of leading mobile phone brands.
Mobile phones and accessories, sea shells and a range of electronic gadgets and play items are sold by hundreds of shops and footpath vendors in the tourist town. Taking advantage of the Sabarimala season and confident that the tourists from other parts of the state and country would not come back to them to pick a fight, seek a refund or lodge a police complaint, some sellers take advantage of the situation and cheat them. Power banks to charge mobile phones are among the much sought after items.
Recently a devotee recorded a two-minute video on how he was cheated and shared it on social media. In the video, he shows a power bank that he claims to have bought at Kanyakumari. “They will demand Rs 600 and will offer it for as less as Rs 200,” he said showing the one he bought.
The customer said that the power bank he bought had the name of a leading mobile phone manufacturer ‘Vivo’ on it and that the cheats had power banks in the names of other leading companies too. “There is nothing but clay, an old mobile phone battery and a USB board in it”, he said pointing out at the inner parts of the device.
He said it would charge the mobile phone when tested but would not get charged when the user tried to charge it and use it later. These allegations also affected genuine traders in the tourist town. Following such allegations, the police started having a watch on the traders, especially platform vendors.
On Thursday the police arrested Siddiq, 28, of Kerala and Sabeebullah, 30, of Bengaluru and seized hundreds of fake power banks bearing the names of leading mobile phone brands. The superintendent of police of Kanyakumari district N Shreenath warned stringent action against persons selling fake or poor quality products to tourists.
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