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Con man poses as MLA's aide, cheats jeweller of Rs 34 lakh

Impostor had told jeweller that Bala Nandgaonkar had sent him to buy samples for his daughter's wedding, took jewels from him for 11 months until his arrest on Monday

A man from Antop Hill has been arrested for embezzling a jeweller in Bhuleshwar of Rs 34 lakh over 11 months by posing as a personal assistant of MNS MLA Bala Nandgaonkar from Sewri.

According to the L T Marg police, Kailash Ramnarayan Singh first approached Viman Bharamilaniya, partner of Soham Creations and Jewellery, in January this year. He claiming to be the MLA's assistant and took ornaments from him after telling him that Nandgaonkar's daughter was getting married and he had asked him to buy jewellery for the grand wedding ceremony. Singh was arrested on Monday. An application filed by him seeking anticipatory bail was rejected.

Nandgaonkar was surprised when he heard of the protracted swindle and said his daughter was only nine years old.

"Since January till date, Singh has picked up jewellery worth Rs 34 lakh, including a necklace set and a bunch of bangles from Viman, telling him that they were sample pieces and if his boss (Nandgaonkar) liked them, he would pick up more jewellery from him," said a police officer from L T Marg police station. "Since Singh was introduced to Viman by a fellow jeweller from C P Tank area, he did not doubt his credentials," said the officer.

Dodgy excuses
After giving him the ornaments, when Viman began contacting Singh for payment, the latter furnished one glib excuse after the other. First, Singh told the jeweller that he was in Delhi busy doing some work. Later, he said that underworld gangster Chhota Shakeel had been calling him to extort money from him, so he had to flee to an isolated place for some time. "He once said that MNS leader Raj Thackeray's court case was to come up and he was busy with it," the police official said.

Finally, running out of patience, Viman met Nandgaonkar in November and narrated the entire incident. But the MLA told him that there was no marriage due to take place in his family, nor did he know anyone by the name of Vilas Singh.

"After Nandgaonkar told Viman that he might have been cheated, he lodged a complaint with us and we arrested Singh. We suspect he might have cheated several jewellers in the name of political leaders. We are investigating the case," the officer said.

'My daughter is just 9'



"My daughter is just nine years old," said Bala Nandgaonkar. "Such offenders should be punished. I promised the jeweller that I would help him with the case. I have heard that the accused has cheated several people using the same pretext. He should be investigated. Also, how can a jeweller give ornaments to anyone without verifying his credentials and checking with whomever he claims to represent. They need to be more careful and mindful of the fact that people use names of public figures to cheat."

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