Crime Branch officers have arrested two people for allegedly cheating a Pune-based automobile engineer in Mumbai to the tune of Rs 10 lakh on the pretext of getting him the job of a social welfare inspector at the state social welfare department by using their influence in Mantralaya.
To gain the victim’s confidence, the accused had even given him an appointment letter having the stamp of the state social welfare commissioner, which later turned out to be forged.
One accused is repeat offender
Probe revealed that of the two, Ajit Bedge (29) and Hanumant Dhaygude (27), Bedge was arrested by Pune’s Kondhava police in a cheating case involving R1 crore earlier this year. After getting out on bail, he had allegedly started cheating others.
Investigators also believe that he may have duped over a dozen people in a similar fashion and are probing further.
According to the police, the complainant, who has done his masters in physical education and has been employed with a private firm since May 2015, came in contact with Dhaygude through a common friend. In June 2015, when the complainant had come to Mantralaya for some work, he had met Dhaygude there.
When the complainant had asked Dhaygude his purpose of visit to Mantralaya, the latter had boasted about knowing people in the social welfare department in Pune and having influence in the same department in Mumbai as well. He had told the complainant that he used his contacts to get people jobs in those departments, the police said.
“Dhaygude promised the complainant the job of a social welfare inspector in Pune and introduced him to Bedge and Sunil Bagal, saying they would help him. Dhaygude also told him that he needs to pay R10.50 lakh for this,” said an officer.
Sealing the deal
Dhaygude and Bedge first asked the complainant to come to Mantralaya with Rs 5.20 lakh in order to bribe a senior officer in the department.
On August 7, 2015, when the complainant reached Mantralaya with his friend, the two accused took them to Aamdar Niwas (MLA hostel) canteen and took the cash and handed over an appointment letter signed by the deputy social welfare commissioner with a stamp of the state social welfare commissioner on it.
More false assurances
The accused managed to extract the remaining amount on more false assurances, with the complainant paying in cash as well as transferring funds in a bank account.
But even after months, there was no sign of a job for him. When he demanded his money back, Bedge promised to return it and gave him a promissory note on Rs 500 stamp paper as well as a cheque.
After Bedge failed to fulfill his promise, the complainant tried to encash the cheque and found out that there is no money in his account. He then approached the Marine Drive police station and lodged a case.
Handed to Marine Drive cops
Crime branch property cell officers Inspector Vinayak Mer, Assistant Inspectors Laxmikant Salunkhe, Sunil Mane, Deep Bane and Chandrakant Dalvi and Sub Inspector Sanjay Patil and others carried out a parallel probe and zeroed in on Dhaygude and Bedge in Pune and arrested them. The two were handed over to the Marine Drive police.
The two have been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for cheating and forgery and are in police custody. Bagal has been shown as a wanted accused in the case.