A Mumbai-based travel and tour company operator, who duped a doctor and 15 of his friends to the tune of Rs 5.60 lakh on the pretext of arranging a foreign trip, has been arrested.
The incident came to light when Dr Nilesh Katariya, (39), a resident of Kothrud, lodged a complaint with Kothrud police station on Monday morning against Nilesh Chadava (43), a resident of Tagore Park in Malad, Mumbai.
Chadava was arrested on Monday night in Mumbai under relevant sections of the IPC comprising 420 (cheating), and 406 (criminal breach of trust). Incidentally, police say Chadava is a homeopath and had recently started the travel and tour company.
API Jagannath More of Kothrud police station, who is investigating the case said, “The complainant, Katariya, is a doctor and has a clinic at Erandwane. He had met Chadava through a mutual friend.
Chadava is a homeopathy practitioner and used to provide some medicines to Katariya’s clinic. This year, Katariya and his friends were planning a foreign trip during the Diwali vacation. All together, some 16 people decided to go to Singapore and were in search of a good travel company.”
He added, “Chadava said he had started his own travel and tours company in Mumbai and could arrange the trip in affordable prices. Accordingly, a deal was struck, in which the total travelling expenses along with tickets and visas of the 16 people were decided at Rs 5.60 lakh.
As per the deal, some of the amount was paid in cash and the rest was transferred to Chadava’s bank account.” Chadava kept delaying the trip, saying tickets were unavailable and finally scheduled it for November 17.
“The trip was scheduled for November 17 and Katariya and the other 15 people had planned to come to Mumbai as per his instructions, to collect the tickets a day before and take the flight the next day.
But they realised that Chadava was not answering their phone calls when they reached Mumbai. They then went to his shop and saw that it was closed. The group smelt a rat and approached us,” said More.
Dinkar Kadam, inspector (Crime) of Kothrud police station, added, “Our team arrested Chadava from a Mumbai-based hotel where he was hiding.
During interrogation, he revealed that he had made a huge loss at his homeopathy clinic and so, started the travel and tour business in June. But, he incurred losses again, and had to pay many people from whom he had borrowed money.
He transferred the amount paid by Katariya and his friends into his brother’s account and asked him to pay some of the people to whom he owed money. We are probing the case, as there are chances he might have duped many other people.”
On Tuesday, Chadava was produced before the court of judicial magistrate (First Class). He was remanded in police custody till November 23.