Ten years after being expelled from service for hoodwinking job aspirants and fleecing them of a pretty penny, a former-BMC sweeper returned to his old ways and landed behind bars for his efforts.
Vinod Wagela (45) was expelled from service with the civic body after his superiors discovered that he had cheated some job seekers by promising them jobs in the department 10 years ago.
He was arrested on Sunday for running a similar job racket and booked for cheating along with his associate Tushar Kamble (25).
The police are on the look out for three others who had created fake ID cards and documents that were given to victims to gain their confidence.
According to the police Wagela was on the run since the past month and was arrested after a case of cheating was filed by Santosh Pandurang Kolekar (35), a resident of Mumbra.
Kolekar had paid the accused Rs 60,000 to get him a job in the water department of the BMC, but Wagela had not delivered on his promise.
Kolekar used to work at a call centre and was unemployed for the past two years despite holding a degree.
On June 11, 2012, Wagela approached the complainant through a common friend and offered to get him a job in the water department of the BMC.
To gain Kolekar’s confidence, Wagela told him that he needed to fill up an application form and clear one basic exam to be eligible for the post.
Shortly after, Wagela created an elaborate set-up and booked a hotel in the city, where he told Kolekar to appear for the exam, which was allegedly a sham. A few days later, the accused informed the complainant that he had passed the examination and even produced an appointment letter and fake identity card for the complainant.
“Once the job aspirant was convinced that he had got the job, the accused collected the money and then switched off his cell phone,” said Senior Police Inspector Sandeep Lonandkar of the Gamdevi police station.
Jahangir Ali Sayyad, SI of Gamdevi police station, said that Kolekar is not Wagela’s only victim.
“The key accused cheated more than seven persons, including one woman. He was sacked 10 years ago from the BMC’s S-ward in Mulund, as he had cheated people using a similar modus operandi. Also there have been similar cases registered against the accused in Bhandup police station in the past. We are verifying the details,” Sayyad said.
Wagela and Kamble have been produced before the Girgaum metropolitan magistrate court and have been remanded in police custody till August 24.