Mumbai Police Crime Branch arrested a man Friday for allegedly cheating several people of lakhs of rupees promising admissions to their wards in the prestigious Jamnabai Narsee and Utpal Sanghvi schools in western Mumbai.
Police said Mehfooz Zaki Ahmed Sheikh (27) of Bandra (East) conned at least 20 people in a similar manner,including film actress Renuka Shahane.
We received a tip that Sheikh would be coming near Shibu Bar in Kherwadi to collect money from his latest victim. We laid a trap and took him into custody. He was carrying blank admission forms of Jamnabai Narsee,photographs of some students and their parents and their address proofs, said an officer with Crime Branch Unit 8.
The con came to light in January after Manohar Chitnavis of Andheri lodged a complaint with Juhu police. He said he went to Jamnabai Narsee in December last year to secure admission for his son and was approached by a man called Soni at the gate.
The man gave Chitnavis a visiting card bearing a cell phone number and told him to get in touch in case he was unable to secure admission.
Chitnavis paid Soni Rs 1.5 lakh for admission,after which the conman disappeared.
Two more parents came forward to logde police complaints after Chitnavis took the initiative.
Police said Sheikh was educated up to class 10 and started the serial con around a year ago.
Sheikh knew the problems faced by parents trying to admit their wards in good schools and decided to capitalise. Apart from Shanane,he cheated around 20 parents. We are still calculating the money he made this way, the officer said.