The VP Road Police has arrested two mechanical engineers for allegedly duping six metal companies to the tune of Rs 2 crore. The police said the alleged mastermind was addicted to cricket betting and dreamt to contest elections from Karnataka in future, for which he had decided to collect money.
Pradeep Gujjar Krishnamurti, a 29-year-old mechanical engineer and the alleged mastermind, was employed as a purchase manager with a Pune-based company, SS Engineering, which deals in manufacturing and exporting of chemical processing equipment. He hatched the plan and allegedly started cheating metal companies with the help of his friend, Saurabh Kalaskar, also a mechanical engineer.
An officer from VP Road police station said: “The company requires high-quantity metal and Krishnamurti was the one, who would place orders on their behalf. It was his first job after graduation. Apart from his salary of Rs 17,000, he was also paid seven per cent commission for every deal.”
The commissions earned Krishnamurti lakhs of rupees. So, last year in January, while he was employed with SS Engineering, he also started a separate company of his own that dealt in metal.
“He created the company, Kala Pipes and Tubes, in his mother’s name and started placing metal orders from his employer’s account. He used to send them an order request from the official email account of SS Engineering and after it got dispatched, he would ask them to deliver at the address of Kala Pipes and Tubes,” said an investigator.
For over a year, SS Engineering kept on making payments for the fake orders, said the police. However, later, as Krishnamurti got scared of being busted, he resigned in February 2018. He got on board Kalaskar, who replaced Krishnamurti in the same post of the company.
“As Kalaskar got a job because of Krishnamurti, he started placing metal orders for the latter as well,” added an officer.
However, the incident came to light in April, when the wholesale metal suppliers started demanding money from SS Engineering.
“The representative of the supply company went to their head office in Pune and learnt about the crime, following which they came to the police station and subsequently handed us a complaint application,” said an officer from VP Road police.
On the basis of the complaint application received from the suppliers, a case under relevant sections of cheating, forgery, criminal breach of trust of the IPC and IT Act was registered on September 18.
“We had no clue, so we started working on the IP address to understand, from which area the emails were sent. Later, we realised that the mails were sent from the head office of SS Engineering. So, we knew that someone from the company is involved. But the person who delivered metal alleged that the goods were received by Krishnamurti,” said an officer.
With the help of his call data record, a team was dispatched to his Davanagere address in Karnataka and Krishnamurti was arrested
“During his interrogation, we learnt that Krishnamurti used to share the amount with his accomplice as well,” said an investigator.
According to the police, Krishnamurti, in his confession, claimed that he was addicted to cricket betting due to which he started committing the crime.
“Later, when he realised that he was earning so much that he could fulfil his desire of becoming a politician, he started the fake company,” said an investigator.
Kalaskar was arrested from his Pune address last week, who has also allegedly confessed to the crime.