Haj operator held for cheating pilgrims

A 33-year-old Haj operator from Bhendi Bazaar was arrested Saturday for allegedly conning 19 pilgrims from Nanded of Rs. 4.76 lakh,the police said.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: August 20, 2013 12:28 am

A 33-year-old Haj operator from Bhendi Bazaar was arrested Saturday for allegedly conning 19 pilgrims from Nanded of Rs. 4.76 lakh,the police said.

J J Marg police said Sameer Mohammad Ansari operates Haji Travels in Bhendi Bazaar. The victims,the police said,first got in touch with him over a month ago. They alleged that Ansari collected around Rs 25,000 from each of them to arrange for passports and a certificate of medical fitness,police said.

Ansari,a resident of Kausapada in Mumbra,deposited the money in two accounts — a Development Credit Bank account in Imamwada and an Axis Bank account in Goregaon,police said.

The victims alleged that Ansari had told them they would fly in an Air Arabia flight Saturday from Mumbai. But upon arriving at Bhendi Bazaar,they found that Ansari had neither procured visas nor booked tickets,police said. They filed a police complaint.

Ansari surrendered at the police station on Saturday evening after learning of the complaint. “He brought fifteen passports with him. We arrested him and took him to Sewree Court Monday. We have got his custody until August 26,” said assistant police inspector Kailash Bondre.

“We are tracing the persons who hold the accounts into which the money was deposited. It seems that Ansari roped them just to use their bank accounts for his transaction. A probe is on,” Bondre said.

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