Mumbai Crime: Woman who posed as customs official to cheat people arrested

A 25-year-old woman, who posed as a custom officer and cheated housewives on the pretext of offering them gold at cheaper rates, has been arrested by the Dadar police. The accused, Madhvi Tambe, is a resident of Girgaum, and her father works in the clerical department at Mantralaya.

Assistant Police Inspector, Deepali Kulkarni, from Dadar police station, said, “Tambe, who is unmarried, has been committing the crime since 2012. The first crime she ever committed was in Jammu and Kashmir using a similar modus operandi, and she was also arrested by the local police. Tambe moved on to work with Jet Airways on a contract, and ended up duping a family of Rs 1 crore, whom she had befriended.”

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After getting bail, she didn’t have the money to hire a lawyer and fight in court. So, she duped two more individuals and collected money. Since then, the crime became the source of earning for Tambe. Initially, after graduating, she had started looking for a job but as she wasn’t successful, the accused got into duping people. The cops allege that Tambe has multiple cases registered against her with different police station across the country.

“The accused would target people at weddings, birthday parties and beauty parlours, where she would introduce people herself either as a customs officer or a Jet Airways staffer, and claim that she can help them get gold coins at cheaper rates. Tambe would say that they have detained several gold coins, seized by them, which they have started selling out legally,” added Kulkarni. However, the accused would also use a jewellery shop owner to dupe people, claiming that she has been making the ornaments legal with their help.

“Tambe would claim that they have a tie up with certain branded jewellery shop, who helps them make those jewellery legal, due to which the victims would even trust her blindly. In most of the cases, the victims have ended up paying her in crores,” said Kulkarni.

In the case registered with the Dadar police, Tambe had met a masseuse in a parlour, to whom she claimed to be a customs officer, and offered her gold coins at cheaper rates. However, the massager didn’t have much money to buy the gold, so she informed women interested in buying gold, and a total of 12 women ending up being cheated by her.

Senior Police Inspector, Nishikant Patil from Dadar police station, said, “In total, she duped them of Rs 1.99 crore, which we are trying to recover from her. We have booked her under relevant sections of cheating of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and till date, we have recovered Rs 7 lakh from Tambe.”

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