TN police arrest con woman who cheated men of lakhs after marriage

After more than a week-long ‘manhunt’, the woman who wedded many a men and scooted with their valuables and cash was arrested on Saturday.

33-year-old Shahnaz used to lay a honey trap, and victims willingly walked in.

In fact, for one, Manikandan had fought with his parents to marry Shahnaz who is from a different religion. Such was her overpowering influence on men whom she picked up. She would marry, live for a few weeks and then collect valuables in the house and scoot.

And she left a trail of broken hearts, marriages and men counting their losses.

Shahnaz was picked up from Bangalore bus stand on Saturday by a special team of Tamil Nadu police which brought her to the all woman police station in Adyar and grilled her about the marriages.

“She has confessed to marrying only four and not 50 or 100 as television channels have reported,” said a senior police officer who was among the people who interrogated her. After questioning the woman overnight, she was produced before the Saidapet local magistrate who remanded her in judicial custody for 14 days on Sunday.

A resident of Kerala, Shahanaz, had over the past decade, married close to 50 men, estimated by various television channels. But police estimated the number at a more modest 12. The TN police launched a manhunt for the woman after they received several complaints that indicated handiwork of one person and formed special teams to crack the case.

Her first marriage is recorded to some 11 years ago in a Kerala village Pathanamthitta where she married one Siddiqe. Her next husband was one Shahnawaj also from Kerala whom too she left for greener pastures. A physically challenged man became her third husband, whom she cheated of Rs 1.1 lakh in cash and gold.

Her modus operandi – identify and target men with money and marry and then scoot with the loot.

But for her fourth victim she came to Chennai, police official handling the case said. She used to work in different areas, in shops and establishments and look out for a victim. From 2006 to the present day, her operations across Tamil Nadu ended in at least eight marriages, police estimate. She is also alleged to have emptied out the cash box of a supermarket where she was working – a sum of Rs 1.85 lakh – in Trichy.

Her latest victim was one Prasanna, a football player and sports goods salesman in a shop. Just a rung senior to him in getting cheated by the con woman was Manikandan, who works in a motor garage in Vepery area in South Chennai.

Prasanna had married her in March this year while Manikandan tied the knot last year. Incidentally a few film stars also attended his wedding reception last year. These two, Prasanna and Manikandan had filed police complaints agaist Shahnaz. Three other similar complaints were already pending with different police stations and when bunched together, it was suspected that to be the handiwork of one person and investigations began in this direction.

Finally, with the clues given by the victims as also detective policing and cell phone records, the police located her to be in Bangalore and arrested her from the bus stop.

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