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Amazon worker orders cookers, delivers expensive electronic items to himself

Mumbai: A worker from the warehouse of online retail store Amazon has been arrested for sneaking out expensive electronic items in the guise of delivering pressure cookers. The Vithalwadi police in Ulhasnagar arrested the youth on Friday and came to know that he had planned to sell the stolen items for cheap to any local buyer.

The accused has been identified as Pramod Bhamble, a 21-year-old employee of the company’s packaging department. Bhamble worked in the Bhiwandi warehouse of Amazon.
A resident of Camp Number 4 in Ulhasnagar, he has been working with the packaging department for the last two and a half years, and his job was to pack goods ordered from the popular website or app.
Last week, the Vithalwadi police got a tip-off that a person had been trying to sell expensive electronic items, allegedly stolen from an Amazon warehouse, at cheaper rates. Based on this information, police raided Bhamble’s house and found iPhones, iPads, tablet PCs, cameras, and watches.

The youth later confessed to the police that he had kept some items at his friends’ house, following which the cops recovered the entire consignment worth Rs 8.31 lakh.
Modus operandi

Since Bhamble’s position allowed him access to order numbers, he would use this to his advantage. Police said Bhamble would order pressure cookers from the website under different names, but would get them delivered to the same address i.e. his residence.
“Since he was employed with the packaging department, he had easy access to order numbers. Using the order numbers, he packed his order himself; but instead of putting pressure cookers in the box, he stuffed it with iPhones, iPads, watches, cameras, and other expensive electronics in the pressure cooker box.

Before dispatching the order, the godown also has a mechanism to weigh the package. To dodge this, Bhamble stuffed equipment of equivalent weight,” an officer from Vithalwadi police station said. Bhamble confessed to the cops that he had ordered pressure cookers thrice in the last 15 days.

After he placed the order, instead of, say, packing a five-kg pressure cooker, he would stuff gadgets of equivalent weight. After receiving delivery clearance, he would then deliver the goods himself and store it at his house. Speaking to mid-day, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) Vasant Jadhav said, “Bhamble’s job profile was of goods packaging at Amazon.com’s warehouse in Bhiwandi.
After we got information that Bhamble was selling electronics from the warehouse at cheaper rates, we started working on the case. On Thursday evening, we caught Bhamble red-handed with the box, near his house. After checking the box, we found a cell phone and other electronic accessories. So, we went to his place and saw he had many such products.

During questioning, he told us he had kept a few of the stolen products at the houses of his two friends.” Bhamble had planned to sell the phone to the customer whom he had approached. It was this customer who went to the police. “All the products he stole have been recovered.
He had not sold any of them,” said Subhash Pansare, police sub–inspector, Vitthalwadi police station. What is worrying for the company is that this may not be a lone case. According to the police, Bhamble told them that at least two others had been running a similar scam.

Vijay Dolas, senior police inspector, Vithalwadi police station, told mid-day, “In his statement, Bhamble said he saw two to three other people involved in the same activity, after which he also decided to try it. We are investigating into the others as well. On Saturday, some people from Amazon had come to the police station for the inquiry.
They said they would carry out fresh audits to verify how many such products have gone missing.” The case was registered under Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the Indian Penal Code and transferred to the Kongaon police station in Bhiwandi. Till the time of going to press, the spokesperson for Amazon was unavailable for comment.

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