Updated: July 31, 2021 9:36:06 pm
A 32-year-old man has been arrested on Wednesday for allegedly duping the family members of a businessman, who was arrested under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999, to the tune of Rs 93 lakh on the pretext of facilitating his early release from prison.
Vikhroli police said the accused, Suraj Kalav, was arrested in a cheating case in 2018. While in custody in Arthur Road jail, he met one Sunil Angane who was arrested by the Mumbai Crime Branch on February 1, 2020, for allegedly extorting money from a Vikhroli-based builder at the behest of gangster Prasad Pujari.
“After Angane went to jail in February 2020, Kalav helped him with his day-to-day needs inside the prison. After gaining his trust, he told him that he could help him get bail early,” said an officer from the Vikhroli police station.
Kalav, who was arrested by Shivaji park police for duping multiple people under the pretext of facilitating government jobs, was subsequently released on bail in April 2020. During this time, the businessman introduced Kalav to his family and reportedly told his family to give him the money he had asked for so that he could facilitate his release.
Between May 2020 and April 2021, the police said Kalav had taken Rs 93 lakh from Angane’s two wives and family members, claiming that he was in talks with the police and court staffers to ensure Angane’s bail.
The police added that the family members transferred Rs 45 lakh to Kalav’s bank account, while the remaining amount was paid in cash. The incident of cheating came to light in April when the accused stopped contacting Angane’s family members.
In May, after realising that Kalav had duped them, the family members went to the Vikhroli police station and lodged a complaint. The police verified the allegation after which in the last week of June, they registered a case of extortion, cheating, criminal breach of trust and criminal intimidation against Kalav.
“We sent a team to his house in Currey Road but could not find him. He had stopped coming to his house,” said an officer.
Later, a person approached Vikhroli police on Kalav’s instructions. “The person tried to enquire why the police team went to Kalav’s place. We misled him by telling that there was a small inquiry and we needed to record Kalav’s statement. We then asked Kalav to meet us at a location in Vikhroli,” the officer added.
As soon as Kalav came, the police apprehended him and brought him to the police station. He was placed under arrest and produced in court. Kalav has been remanded in police custody. There are five cases of cheating registered against Kalav, the police said.
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