Till a week ago, he drove luxury cars and was a regular on the Page 3 circuit in Mumbai, according to police. A search of his name ‘Lord Mukul Paul Taneja’ on Google throws up several photographs of him. But for the last four days, the ‘Lord’ has been cooling his heels at the Crime Branch lock-up.
Last Thursday, 50-year-old Taneja, a South Delhi-based businessman who claimed he was conferred the title of ‘Lord’ by the British government, was arrested for allegedly duping several persons, whom he sold cars he purchased on loans that are yet to be repaid, police said.
Taneja was arrested from Munirka market, police said.
Police said they seized six vehicles — an Audi A-6, Volkswagen Polo, Renault Duster, Swift Dzire, Suzuki Kizashi, Ford Ecosport, all of which, police said, have bank loans pending against them, but which were fradulently transferred to his name — from his residence in posh Mayfair Garden, Hauz Khas.
During interrogation, Taneja claimed he was the son of a former AIIMS official and that he had financed some Bollywood movies, all of which apparently flopped.
Taneja was arrested on the complaint of a UK-based NRI woman, who alleged that Taneja sold her a VIP number-registered Renault Duster, police said.
“She alleged Taneja had told her that there was no outstanding loan against the car. She had contacted Taneja after coming across an advertisement in a newspaper. Taneja assured her that the registration would be transferred in her name within a week. He won the confidence of the woman by claiming that he had been honoured as a ‘Lord’ by the British government. When the woman realised she had been cheated, he threatened to use his ‘high connections in India’ against her,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) R S Yadav said.
Yadav said the woman went back to England and filed a complaint through a Member of Parliament in UK.
“During questioning, he boasted of his ‘high connections’. He claimed to have done his schooling from Modern School, in Barakhamba, after which he claimed to have done a BBA from College of Vocational Studies,” Yadav said.
Police said Taneja claimed to have done his MBA from Cardiff Business School, UK, in 1989 after which he did an LLM.
“He claimed he has written three books and given lectures at reputed schools and universities. After suffering heavy losses, he said he started cheating people to fuel his lavish lifestyle,” Yadav said.
Police said Taneja had registered several luxury cars with the RTO office without informing it that the vehicles had been financed by banks.