Police put brakes on car dealer who conned dozens
Luck finally ran out for 36-year-old Mohan Rajurkar, owner of Car Care Zone, who allegedly duped more than 30 people by promising them luxurious cars at hefty discounts, and later ran away with the money.
A Swargate police team, who were on his trail since a case was registered, finally arrested him from his newly purchased house in Solapur on Saturday. MiD DAY was the first to report the con job (‘Car dealer’ conned 30 people this Diwali, November 27) and after that police intensified the manhunt for the accused, who had absconded with his family.
Cops claim that the total amount swindled is about Rs 2.5 crore. However, there were several victims who had paid Rajurkar in cash, but did not come forward to register complaints. Sources say among them were some businessmen who had paid more than Rs 1 crore each to purchase luxury cars at reduced rates.
After the first case was registered by Sameer Verma (42), who works as chief engineer with a shipping company, several other people who had been promised by the offender that they would get the cars delivered on the second day of Diwali (November 14 last year) and subsequently duped, approached Swargate police.
“After receiving more than 30 cases in just two days, we formed a team to nab the accused. However, Rajurkar was smart enough to avoid the use of cellphones. We were able to nab him from his newly purchased flat in Solapur on Saturday,” said assistant inspector, Pramod Kathane of Swargate police station.
He added, “During the investigation, we have found out that he has recently purchased three flats – two in Pune and one in Solapur – and we suspect that he might have used the money that he had taken from the victims for the purchases. So far, we have recovered cash and gold ornaments worth Rs 20 lakh from him. However, our prime objective is to find the remaining amount, which is a phenomenal number.”
Speaking about the police team’s movements, he said, “We detained his younger brother, but freed him later as he didn’t have anything to do with the matter. However, our officers kept a close watch on him and found out that Rajurkar had been in touch with him from various cities like Usmanabad, Aurangabad, Barshi, Solapur, Paranda. He used to call him from PCOs, avoiding usage of cellphones.”
Another police officer from the team, who nabbed the suspect from his house, said that during the search in Aurangabad, they showed the accused’s picture to a salesman of an electronic appliances store from where Rajurkar had purchased a washing machine.
“The person gave us the address of his rented flat in Aurangabad. We met the landlady without revealing our identity, saying that we were washing machine technicians and inquired about Rajurkar,” said the officer.
He added, “The lady told us that the man and his family were staying there a month ago, but they had gone to Solapur. We got his new cellphone number from there and traced his location in Solapur, finally arresting him from the flat, which he had purchased a few days back.”
Senior inspector, Ram Pathare of the Swargate police station said that Rajurkar was produced in court on Monday and has been remanded in police custody till February 2. He also revealed that as the sum involved is large, the case will be investigated by the economic offences wing of crime branch.
As the news about the arrest spread, several victims made a beeline to the police station and sought stern action and recovery of money. “We have taken him into custody and will now focus on recovering the remaining cash,” said Pathare.
A team headed by API Kathane and comprising police officials Yogesh Jagtap, Pradeep Jadhav, Amjad Pathan, Shakil Shaikh, Vijay Salvi, Nitin Telange, Harish More, Sachin Kale and Sandip Jadhav probed the matter.