Three months after a conman absconded with Rs 15 lakh taken from several investors under the pretext of hefty returns, the government railway police (GRP) nabbed him at Swargate bus stand on Monday.
26-year-old Rudransh Ghorpade, owner of an animation and graphic design firm, had cheated several people by promising them returns on their investment and had even abandoned his eight-month old pregnant wife. Cops lured him back to the city by posting images of his newborn child on a social networking site, after which he was eager to meet his child and arrived in the city.
However, after he was apprehended Ghorapde told investigating officers that he himself was a victim of a confidence trick wherein a self-acclaimed godman promising him a windfall allegedly eloped with Rs 10 lakh of his money in March.
Head constable Prashant Doifode, who is also the investigating officer in the case, said that in the month of March, Ghorpade came in contact with a godman through a person named Umesh (last name not known). The godman told Ghorpade that he knows black magic through which he can provide a rainfall of money, deciding that his office at Moledina Road was the perfect place where they can perform the magic.
“By promising him the windfall, the godman from time to time took money from Ghorpade and within a month, he managed to extract Rs 10 lakh from him. After a few days, both Umesh and the godman were untraceable,” said Doifode.
Police said that at around the same time Ghorpade started taking money from investors to pay the godman. But, he realised he was in trouble went the godman fled, and got scared, deciding to elope from the city in April.
Police said on April 17, he boarded a train to Mumbai from where he proceeded to Amritsar where he lived. On April 18, when one of the complainant’s Dilip Borade tried his number, he could not get through, as the phone was switched off. Subsequently, Borade went to Ghorpade’s residence in Kondhwa to check on his whereabouts. However, his wife too told him that he had not come home since several days.
“Borade, who was working as a driver for Ghorpade’s firm, lodged a complaint with the Government Railway Police at Pune railway station. In his compliant Borade accused Ghorpade of duping him of Rs 3 lakh,” said police inspector Abhay Parmar of the GRP police station. Soon after Borade lodged the complaint, five others came forward and lodged a complaint against Ghorpade. “During the course of investigation, we got to know that several people were duped by Ghorpade with the amount touching Rs 15 lakh in total,” said Parmar.
Police said Ghorpade’s wife gave birth to a baby boy in May at a rescue home, where the cops had taken her after Ghorpade absconded. To lure him back to the city, cops then decided to play a trick to lure him back to the city. They posted a picture of his wife and son on Facebook and after seeing the photo he longed to meet them and came back to the city after which he was arrested. Police officials said Ghorpade, who operated a firm called NSR Group Solution, had rented a spacious office on Moledina Road and employed 10 people for different positions. They said the accused lured victims by promising them hefty return if they invested in his ongoing projects in Chennai.