Mumbai: Conman makes woman speak to 'Rakesh Maria', cheats her of Rs 2 L

While ‘helping’ the social worker get a pistol and an arms licence, he got her to speak to a man who claimed to be the Commissioner of Police; convinced, she gave him the money

It seems cheats can resort to any tactic, when it comes to swindling money, even if it means impersonating the Commissioner of Police. This is how a man recently cheated a social worker of Rs 2 lakh, on the pretext of helping her get an arms licence.

Ashish Upadhyay Rakesh Maria
It wasn’t the commissioner: Ashish Upadhyay, alias Samrat, who cheated the social worker. Cops say he used a software that flashed the CP’s office number when he called. File pic

He managed to convince her by making her speak to Rakesh Maria, only the person who spoke to her wasn’t the Commissioner. Police say the man even used a software which flashed the landline number of the Commissioner’s office when he called the social worker. The Charkop police have arrested the man.

According to Meenakshi Kalika, who works for a Delhi-based NGO Tejas, in the first week of February, her friend Amit introduced her to his friend, Ashish Upadhyay, alias Samrat. Samrat claimed to be a former journalist and a social worker. Meenakshi told Samrat that since she worked for an NGO she feared for her life.

She said in her profession she comes across many anti social elements. Samrat said his friend Baba Siddique could get her a pistol and a licence. Samrat told Meenakshi that it would cost her R3lakh for the pistol as well as the licence.

Meenakshi gave him an advance of Rs 50,000 and promised to pay Rs 1.50 lakh when she submitted the required documents and was supposed to meet the Commissioner on February 9. “On February 9, I was at home when I got a call from the landline of the CP’s office.

Since I am a social worker, I had the landline number saved in my mobile phone. Siddique told me that he was with the Commissioner. He made me talk to a man who introduced himself as Rakesh Maria and confirmed that he had received the application for my arms licence before handing over the phone back to Siddique,” Meenakshi said.

On the same day, Meenakshi gave Samrat her documents and Rs 1 lakh. Siddique told her that the weapon and licence would reach her in two days. After two days when she asked him for them he assured her that the CP had spoken to her and she would get them soon.

“Till Thursday I waited but I grew suspicious and on Saturday I approached the police, as Samrat then told me that he had spent all the money and threatened to kill me if I demanded it,” said Meenakshi.

The Charkop police registered a case under cheating and criminal intimidation against Samrat and Siddique. They arrested Samrat on Sunday and recovered a pistol which did not have a licence, from his house after which he was also charged under the Arms Act.

They are now looking for Siddique and trying to find how many people have been cheated by them. The police also have the recording that Meenakshi submitted and have sent it for forensic analysis to find more about the voice of the man who pretended to be Rakesh Maria.

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