Updated: October 29, 2021 2:22:11 pm
Pune City Police on Thursday arrested Kiran Gosavi (37), the self-styled detective cited as an “independent witness” by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the drugs-on-cruise case which had led to the arrest of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan. Gosavi is a wanted accused in a 2018 cheating case lodged in Faraskhana police station in the city.
Earlier in October, even as Pune Police said they had launched a search for him after his selfie with Aryan went viral, Gosavi had interacted with media persons at different locations, saying he would surrender. But police claimed that he did not surrender and was instead nabbed from a lodge in Katraj area at 3.30 am on Thursday by the Anti-Extortion Cell of the Crime Branch. He was arrested after the completion of legal formalities.
“Gosavi was absconding in a cheating case and he was chargesheeted in 2019. Recently, his photograph went viral on social media. We had dispatched several teams to look for him and he was nabbed by our team from one of the lodges in Katraj area of Pune. We are arresting him now and we will complete the procedure,” Pune Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta said at a press conference on Thursday.
Hours later, in submissions made before a city court, Pune Police said Gosavi was a “notorious job racketeer” who may have cheated several unemployed young men on false assurances of providing them jobs in foreign countries.
Chinmay Deshmukh (24), a resident of Kasba Peth in Pune, had lodged the first information report against Gosavi in the cheating case at Faraskhana police station on May 29, 2018.
According to the FIR, Gosavi had posted an advertisement about hotel management jobs on social media platforms, over which Deshmukh got in touch with him. Gosavi allegedly assured Deshmukh about providing a job at a hotel in Malaysia and then asked him to transfer Rs 3.09 lakh to a bank account, citing various reasons, between November 2017 and March 2018.
However, Gosavi neither offered a job to Deshmukh nor returned the money. Based on Deshmukh’s complaint, police had booked Gosavi in this case under sections 419 and 420 (pertaining to cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Information Technology Act.
According to police, Gosavi had allegedly produced fake documents for procuring the SIM card he was using currently. He had allegedly also opened a bank account with a fake signature. Police have also invoked sections 465 and 468 (pertaining to forgery) of IPC in this case.
After questions were raised about Gosavi’s presence at the NCB’s cruise ship raid, Pune City Police had issued a look-out circular against him on October 13, to prevent his escape from the country.
Police then arrested his former assistant Sherbano Qureshi (27) from Govandi in Mumbai on October 18, alleging that money in the 2018 cheating case was transferred into her bank account.
Could not find Gosavi during searches in the past: Police
Pune Police produced Gosavi before Judicial Magistrate (first class) R K Bafna Balghat on Thursday and sought 10 days’ custody for further investigation.
Police told the court that when the cheating case was filed in 2018, the then investigation officer had conducted searches for Gosavi in Mumbai and Thane, but could not find him. A court had then issued an arrest warrant against him on March 29, 2019.
Police said they could not find Gosavi even during further searches, so a court had declared him an absconder on April 4, 2019 as per Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
While no arrests were made in this case, police said sufficient evidence was obtained against the wanted accused and the then investigation officer had filed a chargesheet against Gosavi in court on April 25, 2019, under Section 299 of CrPC.
On Thursday, police told the court that Gosavi was a “notorious job racketeer” who allegedly cheated several unemployed youth through a company called ‘K P G Dream, Mumbai’.
Police said more cheating cases had been filed against Gosavi in Thane, Mumbai and Palghar. Police said the SIM card in his possession was procured in the name of one ‘Sachin Siddheshwar Sontakke’. Gosavi had also lived in various cities including Lucknow, Kanpur, Hyderabad, Solapur, Satara and Vijapur, using the fake name ‘Samit Patil’.
Custodial interrogation of the accused was needed to know how many more persons he has cheated, said police, adding that they also wanted to probe whether any more persons were involved in this crime along with Gosavi. Police also told the court that Gosavi had allegedly threatened and abused the complainant over phone and this, too, needed to be investigated.
However, defence lawyer Sachin Kumbhar said the custody of the accused was not required as no money had been transferred to Gosavi’s account and no recovery was made from his possession. Police told the court that accused Sherbano has claimed that she never used the account in her name to which the money was allegedly transferred. The court then remanded Gosavi to police custody till November 5.
Gosavi released video seeking probe against another NCB witness
In a video released by Gosavi before his arrest, he sought probe into the phone calls made by Prabhakar Sail, another NCB witness in the cruise ship raid case.
In the two-minute video, Gosavi, speaking in Marathi, denied the allegations made by Sail, who had claimed that he heard Gosavi say that Rs 8 crore would have to be given to Sameer Wankhede, NCB’s Mumbai-based zonal director. Wankhede has also refuted the allegations.
Claiming that he ran a business of “import-export”, Gosavi urged ministers from the ruling parties and opposition party leaders to stand by him and probe his allegations against Sail. Gosavi said police should check call detail records and mobile phone chats of Sail and his two brothers.
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