January 31, 2021 9:43:47 pm
Two persons have been arrested by Marine Drive police for allegedly duping a 36-year-old man of Rs 3 lakh under the pretext of providing him a job in Mantralaya.
The police said the mastermind in the case would use the names of different state ministers and duped people under the pretence of either clearing their land litigation documents or helping government servants with favourable posting.
The police added that the two accused have been identified as Kiran Mahadik and Siddharth Dudhwadkar. The duo would wander around Mantralaya, click pictures with different state ministers and use them to gain confidence of their targets.
“After gaining confidence of their targets, the two would take cash from them and escape,” said an investigating officer.
Mahadik has cases registered against him since 2012. He is a 10th standard pass out, and while working for an NGO in Pune, he came up with a modus operandi of duping people.
Mahadik would often target people coming to Mantralaya for work. “He majorly targeted people stuck in land litigation issues. He would show them his pictures with different ministers and claim that he has good relations with them and they shall help clear their documents,” said an officer, adding that Mahadik has also confessed to his crime.
The fraud came to light on January 21 when one Mangesh Patekar approached the Marine Drive police. The duo took Rs 3 lakh from Patekar by claiming that they would help him get a job at Mantralaya.
The complainant, who works as an office staff in a construction company, had gone to Mantralaya in September 2020 for some work where he met Mahadik. “He told him that he will help him get a job in Mantralaya and subsequently took Rs 3 lakh from him in November,” said an officer.
The accused would call the victims to a five-star hotel in Nariman Point to hand over the cash to him which further helped gain confidence.
“After taking the money, Mahadik would start ignoring them. In this case, he stopped answering Patekar’s calls,” said an officer.
Early in January, the complainant attended Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s public meeting and told him about the fraud. Pawar then contacted police officials and asked them to take cognizance in the matter following which the case was registered on January 21.
The police then located Mahadik at Kolhapur with the help of his call data and subsequently arrested him. Mahadik’s accomplice Dudhwadkar was arrested from Mumbai.
An investigator said, “So far, we have learnt that 13 cases have been registered against him across the state and we are trying to get more details on him.”
“Many other victims have approached different police stations, while several cases are in the process of registration,” said an investigator. The two have been booked under relevant sections of the IPC. They were initially produced in court and were remanded in police custody. The duo were sent to judicial custody after being produced in court on Saturday.
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