Two men were arrested by the Crime Branch for allegedly duping over 50 people by claiming to belong to central government agencies, promising government jobs and forging government documents. According to the Navi Mumbai police, the matter came to their notice after a man was ‘arrested’ in Panvel by a group of individuals who claimed they were from the ‘CIF’ or the ‘Central Intelligence Force’. “The man who was supposedly arrested in this manner was told that he was being monitored by a central agency and was then allowed to go after 24 hours. The man then approached the local police station,” said an officer investigating the case.
The accused, identified as Mahesh Bhadge and Umesh Mohite, both residents of Panvel, were in collaboration with others running two organisations that they called ‘Central Intelligence Force’ and ‘Intelligence Investigation Agency’, sources privy to the case said.
“Both Bhadge and Mohite had letterheads and seals bearing the names of these organisations. They had also painted symbols similar to the CISF’s symbol on their vehicles,” an officer said. When police started investigating, they realised these organisations had been in operation since 2017. “All the people who were enlisted by them believed that they were working for the central government. The accused also took around Rs 10,000 to Rs 50,000 from each candidate as commission,” the officer added.
On February 8, police arrested Bhadge and Mohite. “We seized all their letterheads and seals. They had also forged government notices and circulars. We are trying to reach the man who started this,” a senior officer said.
“They not only faked and lied about central agencies, but also issued notices and letters to several businessman in Panvel, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Pune citing false crimes, and tried to extort money from them,” he added. “We are investigating further and will make more arrests soon,” he said.