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Promising low-interest loans, trio dupes trust of Rs 2.35 crore

The conmen took the amount as stamp duty and miscellaneous charges to finalise the deal, in which they promised a Rs 200-crore loan to Ravindra Sakpal, chairperson of a charitable trust

The chairperson of a Kalyan-based charitable trust was cheated by three persons on the pretext of providing the trust with a multi-crore loan at dirt-cheap interest rates. The complainant, Ravindra Sakpal, visited the commisionerate office with an application following which the case was registered at the Worli police station in April.

Officials from the Worli police station said they arrested two of the three accused, who were identified as Ravish Singh (50) and Narendra Ahire (34), last week from Worli. Cops are still on the hunt for the scam's mastermind, Tushar Patel, who is said to be evading arrest by constantly changing locations.

An officer said, "Sakpal was looking for a loan of Rs 200 crore, of which he had spoken to his friend, Ravi Iyer. It was Iyer who arranged a meeting between the complainant and Singh in Fort area in November 2013. During their meeting, Singh claimed that he could help Sakpal secure the loan from a Gujarat-based financer, and that too at a dirt cheap interest rate."

Singh fixed a meeting between Sakpal and Patel in Vadodara in December 2013. Here, Patel offered to lend Sakpal the amount he desired at four per cent interest rate. But, Patel laid a condition that Sakpal would be required to mortgage something for securing the loan.

Another police officer said, "Based on the condition laid by Patel, Sakpal readily allowed Patel's colleague Ahire to assess the property owned by the trust in Trimbakeshwar, Nashik. Following Ahire's assessment, Sakpal was informed that the property was up to the mark. When the complainant met Patel to finalise the deal, Sakpal was told that he would have to pay stamp duty and other miscellaneous charges, collectively worth R2.35 crore, in advance."

Once the monetary transaction concluded, Patel started avoiding Sakpal's phone calls, and after a while, switched off his cellphone. Realising that he had been duped, Sakpal directly approached the CP office. "The complainant wished to induce a new life into the debt-ridden trust and take it to the next level. This was the reason for him seeking a multi-crore loan," the police officer added.

Officials said there were several cases registered against the trio at various police stations in the city, Panvel, Pune and Gujarat. All three were booked under sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC. While Singh and Ahire have been remanded in police custody, officials are confident of nabbing Patel any time this week.

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