Movies can be inspiring. But it depends on what kind of inspiration a person wants to draw from them. Officials from Charkop police station on Sunday nabbed a gang of eight for deceiving one of their uncles by posing as Income Tax (I-T) officials.

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Charkop police officials nabbed a gang of eight for deceiving one of their uncles by posing as I-T officials
Charkop police officials nabbed a gang of eight for deceiving one of their uncles by posing as I-T officials

Cops say the plot was hatched after the mastermind watched Bollywood movie Special 26 on television last month and decided to scam his uncle. The accused fooled the victim into giving them Rs 1.65 crore, expensive watches and jewellery that was hidden at his residence by one of his friends to keep it out of reach of genuine I-T officials.

The police said Malad-based builder Ramjibhai Shah had stashed the cash and valuables at his friend Jayantibhai Sarvaiya’s residence at sector 8 in Charkop, to prevent I-T officials from confiscating it.

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They said I-T officials had raided Shah’s residence three months ago and seized cash and other valuables. A police official, requesting anonymity, claimed that the gang was busted after the arrest of Jagdish Mewada - Sarvaiya’s nephew and the mastermind.

He said Mewada hatched the plot after watching the movie at his Dharavi residence last month. The official said Mewada trained five of his friends to act as I-T officials by making them watch Special 26 at least five times. He said the accused prepared themselves at a rented apartment in Govandi.

Raid day
As per the plan, Mewada’s friends raided Sarvaiya’s residence on June 2 at 7.30 am. They arrived at his residence in a car they had hired from Govandi, the official said. While five of them entered Sarvaiya’s residence posing as I-T officials, Mewada and two others kept vigil outside the house.

The impostors who entered the house collected the cash and valuables within an hour and took Sarvaiya along before leaving his residence. One of them told Sarvaiya that they were taking him to the I-T department headquarters in Worli.

However, the gang halted on the Western Express Highway (WEH) at Goregaon on the pretext of taking a tea break and asked Sarvaiya to directly report at the headquarters. Realising that something was amiss, Sarvaiya later approached the Charkop police and lodged a complaint against the five accused.

Cop speak
API Rao Rane from Charkop police station said, “After this scam, Mewada kept calling Sarvaiya and asked for money. He was addicted to playing lottery and had gone broke. This raised our suspicion and we took Mewada into custody. During interrogation he confessed to the crime and revealed the identity of his friends.

He even disclosed that it was one of his relatives who informed him about the cash and valuables at his uncle’s residence. While we have arrested Mewada and his friends, a manhunt has been launched to nab the insider who tipped him.”

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The other seven accused were identified as Paresh Goswami (35), Bharat Wegda (30), Kadar Sheikh (32), Pankaj Chavan (34), Firoz Sheikh (30), Balkrishna (35) and Yunis Sheikh, all residents of Dharavi. Cops said Kadar had earlier been arrested for his involvement in stealing cellphones.

All the eight accused were booked under Sections 395, 451, 170, 342 and 120 (b). They were produced in the court yesterday and have been remanded in police custody till June 20.