A man who had conned people, including a cop, under the guise of sending them on holidays and investing their money finally landed in the police’s net. The 40-year-old, who had been on Mumbai Police’s radar for more than six months and for whom the Thane Police had been searching for a year, was arrested by the Mulund police.
Shashikant Rane had a company called Saffron International Holidays in Mulund. Pic/Siddharth Dhadve
According to the police, the accused has been identified as Shashikant Chandrakant Rane. Rane, under the banner of Saffron International Holidays, took money from several individuals under the guise of sending them on foreign holidays. He took R36 lakh from one Shailesh Chudasama (42), a Borivli resident.
The man also ran an investment scam, in which he fooled an assistant police inspector of a police station in Uran into giving him money, saying he would double the amount in a year. Rane operated from an office near Mulund station.
An officer from Mulund police station, who refused to come on record, said, “Rane had advertised about his company in several newspapers, after which many people across the city approached him. This is how the API also got influenced and in 2013, he came to Mulund from Uran to invest.”
However, after collecting the money, the man vanished from the scene. He switched off his phone and went missing in action. Realising they had been cheated of their money, the duo registered cases with the Mulund police station, on different occasions. Police had been searching for him ever since.
Cops traced Rane through his son. Speaking to mid-day, Police Sub-Inspector Vijay Waghmare from Mulund police station said, “I came to know that Rane’s son had just graduated from Rizvi College. I approached the principal of the college and brought the matter to his notice. The principal replied that the accused had told him that he would call him to collect his son’s leaving certificate.”
As soon as the man called last week, the principal informed the police. Police laid a trap and arrested the fraud. Cops said his accomplice, a woman named Shweta Thorat, is still at large. Rane has been booked under sections 406 (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.
His police custody ends today and he will be produced in court again. Police informed that several cases are registered against the duo in Thane, Ratnagiri and Kolhapur, and that many more might have been cheated of large sums of money.