A bankrupt businessman-turned crook, who cheated several wholesalers in the last four years, has been arrested along with his associate by members of the Crime Branch (Unit II) on Monday.
The police said that the accused identified as Pooranchand Bhavarlal Jain (40), had cheated more than 40 businessmen in the last four years and there are cases registered against him at LT Marg, Pydhonie and Andheri police stations. His associate, Kishansingh Rajput, who used to help the accused transport the stolen goods, has also been arrested.
According to the police, Jain was previously in the hardware business and had turned bankrupt. Since he had knowledge of the ins and outs of the hardware sector, Jain would call up wholesalers and place bulk orders with them. “On each call, he placed orders up to Rs 2 lakh. He mainly placed orders for switches, motor pumps and electrical appliances that are sold in hardware shops. Once the goods were delivered, the accused would slip away with them without making any payment,” said a Crime Branch officer.
Crime Branch officials said that several traders in Zaveri Bazaar and Princess Street had incurred heavy losses due to the accused.
On Monday, Crime Branch officials managed to locate Jain’s residential address in Borivli. A team of officers comprising of Police Inspector Prashant Raje, Assistant Police Inspector Bhaskar Kadam, and Constables, Mali, Shirke and Mishra Mohite, laid out a trap and caught the accused when he returned home.
During interrogations, Jain confessed that for four years, he called wholesalers and requested them to deliver hardware goods at random shops, asking the delivery boys to come to the adjoining lane for payment. He would then switch off his cell phone and slip away with the goods. Jain even confessed that he used to ask the delivery boys to dispatch goods in front of the police station at Godbunder Road, Thane.
Goods amounting to Rs 5 lakh have been recovered from Jain and Rajput, while another associate remains absconding. “We have come to know that the accused sold these goods in Palghar and other districts of Maharashtra. The matter is under investigation,” said Nishikant Patil, senior police inspector, Crime Branch (Unit II).