The Property Cell of Mumbai Crime Branch, on Friday, arrested three persons for allegedly duping a woman of Rs 3.5 lakh. The accused, including an employee of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and retired employees of the BMC and Mumbai Police, duped people under the pretext of facilitating a job for them in the civic body.
According to police, primary investigation has revealed that the group has conned more than 300 people from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Nashik. The three accused have been identified as Prakash Sadafule (62), Nitin Dhotre (39) and Preeti Thakkar (66). While Sadafale has retired from the BMC, Dhotre is still employed at the civic body. Thakker took voluntary retirement as a police constable from the Mumbai Police department 25 years ago.
Police inspector Kedari Pawar said, “They were produced in court and have been remanded in police custody till December 22. We have learnt that they have duped over 300 people, which we are trying to verify.”
The incident came to light after a woman from Antop Hill had approached Sion police with a complaint that she was duped by Sadafule and Dhotre. “The woman was trying to get her son employed with the BMC when she happened to meet the two con men. They told her that they are former and current employees of the BMC. They promised her that they could get her son employed with the water department of the BMC, for which the two took Rs 3.5 lakh from her,” said a police officer.
In order to make their claims seem authentic, the accused gave the complainant an appointment letter and a medical examination certificate in her son’s name. However, when the complainant approached them a few days later, to inquire when her son could start reporting to work, they gave her vague answers and eventually stopped answering her calls.
“The woman then realised that she had been duped and approached Sion police station. Her statement was subsequently recorded on Tuesday and a case of cheating and forgery was registered,’ said a crime branch officer.
During the course of investigation, police were informed about the locations of Sadafule, Thakkar and Dhotre in Kandivali, Vakola and Paltan Road near MRA Marg, respectively. Teams were dispatched accordingly and the accused were then arrested.
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