A MAGISTRATE court in Khadki has convicted ex-serviceman Sandeep Balwant Gurav (30), who was arrested by Pune city police in July 2014 for allegedly cheating youths by taking money from them on assurances that he was recruiting them in the Army.
A probe had revealed that he had cheated about 80 youths to the tune of Rs 2 crores through his fake “army recruitment drive”. One of the victims named Harshwardhan Shrikant Bhosale had lodged a complaint against him at Shivajinagar police station. The case was transferred to Khadki police station as the offence had taken place at the Military Hospital in Khadki.
A resident of Apte Nagar in Kolhapur, Gurav was arrested along with Suresh Bhosale (47) of Sangli under sections 406, 420, 467, 468, 471, 34 of IPC. The court held Gurav guilty and sentenced him to three years rigorous imprisonment. Suresh has been acquitted. Judicial magistrate (first class) SP Rachkar passed an order in this regard on November 6.
Police said that a former lance naik, Gurav was declared “deserted” after he fled the Indian Army in 2010. Police said that Suresh had introduced Gurav to Harshwardhan as someone who appoints persons in the Army.
Gurav promised to recruit Harshwardhan in the Army as a “Junior Commissioner Officer (JCO) – Subedar” for which he will have to pay Rs 25,000 at the time of appearing for physical test and another Rs 25,000 during the medical examination at Military Hospital in Khadki.
In December 2013, Gurav actually called Harshwardhan to the Military Hospital. There were more people like him who had come for the same purpose. Later, on June 9, 2014, all of them got recruitment letters having the seal of RCC, Office, Bombay Engineering Group (BEG), Pune. But when they went to BEG on June 28, 2014, they came to know that the letters were fake.
After the offence was registered against Gurav, a police team led by inspector Anil Patil of crime branch arrested him and Suresh.
“Probe revealed that Gurav had cheated about 80 youths of Rs 2 crore. We had also sealed his property in Kolhapur, which we suspect he bought from the scam money. We recorded the statements of the victims and gathered proper documental evidence, which played a crucial role in his conviction,” said inspector Patil.