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A 43-YEAR-OLD mechanical engineer, who was arrested last week in a cheating case by the Dongri police in South Mumbai, also allegedly cheated a retired IPS officer in Lucknow, investigators have learnt.
Accused Asad Mehendi Rizvi, now being seen as a serial fraudster wanted in multiple cases of impersonation and cheating in police stations stretching from Mumbai to Nagpur, reportedly managed to convince the retired IPS officer to invest Rs 24.5 lakh in a fraudulent property deal. Under scanner for allegedly defrauding investors in India and Dubai, who were led to believe that they were buying real estate, Rizvi was arrested on May 20 from a five-star hotel in Pune. At the time of his arrest, he was reportedly with a woman he was trying to cheat.
Police claimed Rizvi has in the past posed as an Intelligence Bureau or Enforcement Directorate officer and offered several woman jobs at government agencies. Among his victims, police said, is retired IPS officer Udai Pratap, who he met in 2003 when his father was gunned down amid a highway robbery near Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. Pratap, then superintendent of Aligarh Police, had investigated the case that eventually ended in the conviction of six men.
In 2016, Rizvi met Pratap, who retired in January 2015 in Lucknow and reportedly told the latter that he was now a real estate investor. “Pratap, who was interested in investing in a plot, inquired about prospective plots of land to buy. Rizvi took him to Aashiyana Colony in Lucknow, 10 minutes away from where they were and showed him a plot claiming it to be his. When Pratap later asked if he could invest, Rizvi convinced him to buy a flat instead and asked him to pay 10 per cent of the cost as booking amount,” said an investigator.
The complainant in the case is Durgesh Nandini, Pratap’s wife, and a high court advocate. “Rizvi claimed that he owned the property and showed us forged documents,” Nandini told The Indian Express. According to investigators, Rizvi told the couple he would be able to sell the property at a higher value. “In April 2016, Pratap paid Rizvi Rs 24.5 lakh in two installments… Rs 12 lakh was transferred from his account and the rest from the complainant’s account,” said an officer at the Hazratganj police station in Lucknow.
Later, when Rizvi could not provide satisfactory answers to his queries, Pratap felt something was amiss and asked a friend in Delhi to check on Rizvi’s registered office in Noida. That address belonged to another company, and employees there said several others, who had been similarly cheated, had come there looking for Rizvi’s company. Meanwhile, Rizvi reportedly returned Rs 4 lakh to Pratap, but subsequently began to avoid his calls. Nandini then approached the Hazratganj police station where a case of cheating was registered on January 23, this year.
Sub-Inspector Rahul Sonkar from the Hazratganj police station said that according to the complaint, Rizvi first promised to return the money. “Later, as he started ignoring Pratap’s calls, he submitted an application for a complaint and registered a case.” The Dongri police, which has booked Rizvi for impersonation and cheating a South Mumbai-based social worker, was produced in court on Monday and remanded in judicial custody.
Meanwhile, a Nagpur Police team is in Mumbai to seek his custody in a case registered by a woman alleging that Rizvi cheated her under the pretext of giving her a job.