February 11, 2021 12:08:32 am
PUNE RURAL Police claimed to have busted a “fake marriage” racket with the arrest of nine women and two men. The accused cheated men by conducting marriages, in which they took money and gold ornaments before the wedding, and then women they married fled days after the marriage, police said.
According to police, the racket was unearthed following an investigation by the local crime branch after receiving inputs from the family of a man from Vadgaon Maval who married one such woman in January. Before the wedding, the accused took Rs 2.4 lakh from the man, police said.
Police identified 35-year-old Jyoti Patil, a resident of Wagholi, to be the kingpin of the gang. Police said she approached the man saying a woman from a poor family was ready to be married to him, but the family needed money.
In the first week of February, however, the man’s family members told police that the woman was planning to flee with cash stolen from the house, police said. On February 8, the woman was detained and police found out that the woman had changed her name and was, in fact, already married with two children.
Police said the women have confessed to cheating at least five men in Pune over the past few months in a similar manner, but there was a possibility that they had cheated many more.
Superintendent of Police (Pune Rural) Abhinav Deshmukh has made an appeal to people who have been cheated, and that they should come forward and approach police with information.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Inspector Ghanwat said, “Patil found men who have crossed a certain age. She and her accomplices, after gaining their trust, told them about women from poor or financially troubled families wanting to get married. Sums in the range of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh were taken from them on the pretext of helping the family. At the same time, gold ornaments for marriage were also demanded from the men’s families. These weddings took place in which one of the accused would stand as a bride by changing her name. After living with these men for a few days after the wedding, these women fled with ornaments and valuables, cash they could get their hands on. The women have now told us about five men they have cheated in the same manner. But we believe there can be more. We want people to come forward and give us more information.”
Apart from Patil, other accused were identified as Vidya Khandale (27), who posed as another woman under a false name to get married to the man from Vadgaon Maval, Mahananda Kasle (39), Rupali Banpatte (37), Kalavati Banpatte (25), Sarika Giri (33), Swati Sabale (24), Mona Salunke (28), and Payal Sabale (28). Police have also arrested two men, identified as Digambar Bhamre and Satish Zamre, taking the total number of arrests in the case to 11. All the arrested persons were produced before a court on Tuesday and remanded in police custody.
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