Mumbai: Mechanic sold broken down cars after towing them to garage

Fraud came to light after an Army officer was cheated of his Hyundai Santro in December; accused who has three other such cases against him was arrested from Jogeshwari yesterday

A fraud mechanic was arrested for allegedly selling people’s cars after he helped tow them when they broke down on the road. The mechanic’s deeds came to light after an Army man registered a case with the Sewri police, who said the accused has three more such cases against him. The Property Cell of Mumbai Crime Branch, however, made the arrest.

According to the police, the Army man was travelling from Sewri to CST via the Eastern Freeway last month. Around 9 pm, a BEST bus rammed into his Hyundai Santro, and his friend contacted a phone search service, asking for a towing service.

Samir alias Jubber Abbas Khan had towed and sold a Pajero in Dharavi, and has two other such cases pending against him in Oshiwara and Tilak Nagar.
Samir alias Jubber Abbas Khan had towed and sold a Pajero in Dharavi, and has two other such cases pending against him in Oshiwara and Tilak Nagar

“In some time, the Army man got a call from one Samir, who came with a towing van and picked up his car and took it to Anthony garage on Turner Road, Bandra,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner of police, Mumbai Crime branch.

Since it was night, the garage had closed and Samir said he would take care of the repair work of the car, but never actually entered the garage. The victim paid him Rs 10,000 for the service. After a few days, Samir called the victim again and asked for more money, saying the car had sustained severe damage and repair work would total to Rs 30,000.

“So the victim gave him Rs 20,000 more,” said Deep Bane, police sub-inspector, Property Cell, Mumbai Crime Branch. The Army man was told to pick up the vehicle in two weeks.

Absconding
When Samir wouldn’t answer his phone calls even a month later, the Army man went to the garage and was told by the owner that Samir was a fraudster, and had nothing to do with the garage. He said he would occasionally pick up broken down cars on his own, and sell them later.

“The victim then approached the Sewri police station and registered a case under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating),” said Bane. During investigations, the Property Cell picked up Samir from Jogeshwari yesterday, and learnt that his real name is Jubber Abbas Khan.

He had registered on the dial search service under two names and as the owner of two garages Jubber Khan, owner of one Mama’s Team, and Wahid Khan, owner of Auto Alliance. Police said the accused had used a similar modus operandi in three other cases.

“The accused took a Pajero from Dharavi area and sold it. That case is with the Dharavi police. The Pajero had broken down in the middle of the road and the victim had called for help. He also has two more cheating cases in Oshiwara and Tilak Nagar police stations ,” Bane said.

Police have recovered the Army man’s Santro, which Samir had repaired and sold. Officials said the process for recovering the Pajero has begun.

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