POLICE ON Tuesday arrested the former president of Mumbai Dabbawala Association for allegedly cheating 22 dabbawalas. The accused, along with two others, took loans in their names on the pretext of giving out mopeds, but escaped without delivering the vehicles, police said.
Police identified the accused as Subhash Talekar. According to police, the fraud took place between 2015 and 2016 when Talekar was working as a spokesperson of Mumbai Jevan Dabe Vahatuk Mandal.
“As Talekar was the post holder, he approached around 60 dabbawalas and told them that he could help them in getting mopeds,” said an officer, adding that another accused posed as a dealer.
Police said Talekar then helped them seek a loan from a credit cooperative society, following which he claimed to have paid Rs 17 lakh for 60 mopeds to a dealer, who was his accomplice.
“Talekar then delivered mopeds to 38 dabbawalas and escaped,” said an investigating officer, adding, “while the remaining 22, who were paying their monthly instalment, did not get any vehicle. So they stopped paying the bank due which recovery agents started showing up at their doorstep. They then approached Mumbai Police.”
A case was registered at Ghatkopar police station in February 2020.
Police also said Talekar applied for anticipatory bail, but as it was rejected by the Bombay High Court a fortnight ago, police arrested him from his village in Pune.
Talekar has been booked under sections pertaining to cheating, criminal breach of trust and common intention.
Police said they were looking for his two accomplices and also trying to identify if they had cheated more people.