Conman cheats businessman, gets him arrested for assault

The Crime Branch officers of Unit 9 detained a Pune businessman and his three associates after a 40-year-old property developer in Mumbai filed a kidnapping and assault complaint against them. The developer alleged that the plywood businessman and his aides extorted Rs 1 lakh from him.

Curiously, after arresting the plywood businessman from Pune, cops found out that the complainant had earlier taken Rs 5 lakh from him in the name of preparing an ad film for his product. According to the Santacruz police officers, complainant Jay Desai, a property developer, approached them on Monday night, alleging that four men barged into his house and demanded Rs 5 lakh at gunpoint.

They assaulted and kidnapped him and took him to an ATM where he was forced to withdraw Rs 1 lakh, he alleged. They also got him to sign an affidavit saying he would give the remainder of Rs 4 lakh the next day. The four then dropped off Desai at his house. On Tuesday evening, when one of the accused arrived to recover the cash, the Crime Branch (Unit 9) officers lying in wait at Desai’s house detained the accused. From him, they learnt of the Pune businessman identified as Mohan Patel (34) and his associates.

After the Crime Branch officers handed over Patel and the other three accused to the Santacruz police, they learnt that Patel had sent his associates to recover the Rs 5 lakh that he had given to Desai two days ago in Pune. Patel who deals in plywood told cops that he wanted to make an ad film for his product. On Sunday, Desai had met Patel at a posh hotel in Pune along with a model and a photographer.

Desai sent a man to prepare an agreement for the film deal while he discussed the concept with Patel along with the photographer and the model. In the middle of the discussion, Desai got a call after which he left from the hotel, saying he would be back in 15 minutes. He took with him the bag with Rs 5 lakh that Patel had given as advance.

After waiting for an hour, the model and the photographer left the place. Patel said that after a few minutes, the waiter informed him that the bill had been paid. Patel tried calling up Desai’s phone constantly but did not receive a reply. At night, Desai sent him an SMS, asking to meet him to return the money as the deal had been called off. Patel said he waited for Desai but received another SMS stating he was sorry.

“In the morning when Patel tried calling him up again, Desai told him that he had Rs 3.50 lakh with him and would return the rest of the cash within a day. Patel realised that he had been cheated, and sent his associates to Mumbai to recover the cash,” said a police officer from Santacruz police station. “We have arrested Patel and his associates for kidnapping, assault, trespassing, threatening and under sections of the arms act. We are conducting enquiries,” said Arun Chavan, senior PI of Santacruz police station.

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