Mumbai: On pretext of test drive, man flees with actor's Mercedes

The conman had responded to the actor’s advertisement on an online portal; he paid a token amount of Rs 50,000 and drove off with the luxury car

Giving out your car for a test drive can be a risky proposition, as Bollywood actor Sahil Khan found out a week ago. Gangster Aftab Patel, who has been externed from Mumbai and Thane for previous crimes, allegedly fled with a Mercedes belonging to Sahil.

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Aftab Patel has been externed from Mumbai and Thane for previous crimes. Actor Sahil Khan (right) lost his car when he gave it out for a test drive
Aftab Patel has been externed from Mumbai and Thane for previous crimes. Actor Sahil Khan (right) lost his car when he gave it out for a test drive

The incident occurred after Sahil’s sister Shaista advertised their Mercedes for sale on an online portal. Shaista uploaded the car’s picture on the portal on October 7. Responding to the advertisement, Patel called the actor’s sister on October 8 and met her in Kandivli in the evening. The accused wanted a test drive of the car and the purchase price was fixed at Rs 42 lakh.

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According to the police, Patel came for the test drive in a Pajero jeep (MH-03-AM-5832) along with a white colour Hyundai Sonata car (MH-12-DI-8982) along with three or four friends on October 9 at 8 pm. Patel fixed the deal after the test drive and handed over Rs 50,000 as token amount to the actor’s driver Arshad Ansari.

Later, he told Shaista over the phone that he would buy the car in a couple of days after paying the entire amount. Shaista told Patel to deposit the balance amount (Rs 41.5 lakh) in her HDFC Bank account. Next day, Patel came along with one of his friends near the actor’s house in Kandivli (West) and requested for another test drive. Sahil’s driver brought the car and gave it to Patel for a test drive at 8 pm on October 10.

The police said that the actor had alleged in his statement that Patel had fled with the car during the second test drive. The driver tried Patel’s number several times, but when he did not respond, he informed the actor and his sister about the incident. The actor then approached the Charkop police and registered a case of theft against Patel, said a police officer.

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The Charkop police started investigations, and following the registration numbers given by the victim, the police recovered the Pajero and Sonata from a farmhouse situated in Manor near Virar. Both the cars were used by the accused when he first arrived with his friends for the test drive. Police sources said that Aftab Patel is wanted in criminal cases like land grabbing, attempt to murder and assault.

Sahil told mid-day, “The Charkop police has co-operated a lot and soon after the FIR they managed to recover both the cars which were used by the accused when he came for the test drive. I have full faith in the Mumbai police and hope that they will nab the culprit and recover my car as soon as possible.”

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