Officials of the Ghatkopar police station arrested Purshottam Ramji Mav, a conman who fooled hundreds of people for lakhs of rupees in the last 10 years, from his shop in Dhulia on Wednesday afternoon.
Mav has been accused of duping people by floating bogus schemes and promising the victims of doubling the amount or giving high interest on the sum they have invested in his schemes. Investigation revealed that Mav had conned over 250 people in the area and is believed to have amassed assets worth over Rs 7 crore.
Inspector Chandrakant Puri of the Ghatkopar police station said, “We arrested the accused from Dhulia after we got a tip-off that he was running a shop there. We then sent a team to Dhulia and studied his daily routine. We finally arrested Purshottam from his shop while he was having lunch at 3 pm. The very same night he was brought to the Ghatkopar police station.”
Officials revealed that Mav operated with his elder brother Shambhu, who used to collect cash from victims and give it to Mav. A case was registered against Mav at the police station on March 12, 2011. While Mav was arrested and booked under section 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust), 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance) of the Indian Penal Code, Shambhu is at large.
Victims whom Purshottam duped said they trusted him because he lived in the same locality and none of his moves evoked suspicion. Several of them said that they handed over their life’s savings to Mav, hoping to get back double of what they invested. Bhojraj Mauji, one of the victims, said, “I gave him 8.5 lakh that I had saved for my daughter’s marriage.
The reason I trusted him was because he had returned a few of his investors’ double of what they had given him. We trusted him because he was a known face in the community and had been living among us for years. He never gave us any receipt and we never asked for any because we trusted him. Moreover, whenever we would ask him about our investments, he would tell us the exact amount.”
Claiming that Purshottam not only purchased a flat in Ghatkopar but made personal investments with their money, several victims accused the police of delayed action. Another victim Bhavanji Bhanushali said, “I gave Purshottam Rs 22 lakh in installments for a godown in Ghatkopar. He had asked me to pay him Rs 20 lakh and become its owner. But eight years ago I didn’t have that much money, so Purshottam asked me to pay him in installments. I later discovered that the godown I was operating from belongs to someone else.”