The two began dating in 2010 after interacting on a social networking platform; another woman in South Africa claims that she, too, was similarly duped
Take everything on social media with a generous helping of salt. A case of rape and cheating has been registered against a 35-year-old resident of Andheri East for allegedly swindling Rs 80 lakh from a Dubai-based woman.
Sameer Mehra befriended the woman, a divorcee, on a social networking website in 2010
According to the complaint, Sameer Mehra befriended the woman, a divorcee, on a social networking website in 2010, saying he was recently divorced as well. The two struck a rapport. A few days later, Mehra reportedly asked her to marry him and convinced her to visit India to introduce her to his family. Looking forward to a fresh start, the woman visited Mumbai and stayed at a flat she owns in Kandivli. The two met for the first time in Andheri, where Mehra arrived in a luxury car in a bid to impress her. In the course of time, they grew closer and stayed in each other’s homes.
As soon as she returned to Dubai, Mehra asked her to move to India and help him better his business of automobile spare parts manufacturing. He came up with a sob story of how he had suffered huge losses in his business and needed to pay the advocate who helped him with his divorce. He smooth-talked her into parting with Rs 2 lakh initially, and then large sums of cash over the next few months. The woman told mid-day that she gave him R80 lakh in total. “I loved him and I did not mind giving him money. But this became a habit for him.”
Over the years, the woman kept reminding Mehra of his promise of marriage, but he brushed it off each time with excuses. During this period, the woman visited India twice — in 2014 and December 2015 — and even paid for his trip to Dubai.
In January this year, a woman from South Africa warned her on Facebook of Mehra’s modus operandi of targeting rich, divorced women. The South African national claimed that Mehra had tricked her into parting with Rs 7 lakh, making similar promises of marriage. Blinded by her love for Mehra, the Dubai woman ignored the warning.
She, however, began noticing warning signs — he started ignoring her phone calls and claimed that his parents were against their relationship. Determined to win his parents over, the woman met them. The family, however, raised objections to the fact that she already had two children from a previous marriage. The woman reminded them that Mehra knew about her children when he befriended her and that he had even met them during his trip to Dubai.
The woman was finally onto Mehra when she learnt in January this year of his impending marriage to a woman from Mumbai. “I spoke to her and told her about my relationship with Mehra. She assured me of calling off the wedding, but didn’t do so,” said the Dubai resident.
It was after this that she approached the MIDC police on March 18 and revealed Mehra’s game. She also told them about the conversation she had with the South African national. “We have registered the complaint and had sent a team twice to arrest Mehra, but he was not at home. We are on the lookout for him,” said Sailesh Pasalwar, senior inspector of MIDC police station.
When mid-day spoke to the South African national, she said she had decided not to pursue a case against Mehra because it would involve coming to India to file a complaint against him.