When Income Tax officials come calling, one assumes that one is in trouble. But not the kind of trouble Naresh Kantilal Shah, a 42-year-old scrap merchant, had to face.
Shah was duped of Rs 5 lakh by Anuradha Vickky Kashelkar alias Anuradha Verma, a member of the Yuva Sena, the youth wing of the Shiv Sena.
On Friday, Kashelkar, along with two accomplices, visited Shweta Enterprises, Shah’s office, located opposite Apsara Cinema at Grant Road (East). Shah was sitting there along with two of his employees.
Kashelkar approached the workers claiming to be an assistant commissioner from the Income Tax department, following which they let her into Shah’s cabin. She then demanded to see Shah’s income tax return documents.
“When he told her he didn’t have the papers, she asked for photocopies of his PAN card, Gumasta licence and other documents. She told Shah that he would have to pay her Rs 20 lakh or face action from the Income Tax department,” said an officer from the D B Marg police station, who arrested Kashelkar and her two accomplices on Saturday.
After an argument, she finally agreed upon an amount of Rs 5 lakh. Shah asked his employees to get the cash from his
It was only when his friend saw the woman and told him she was not an I-T official that Shah realised he had been swindled. His friend, Paromesh Bora, recognised Kashelkar from some Yuva Sena banners put up in Girgaum.
The merchant immediately lodged a complaint at the D B Marg police station on Friday. The police identified the trio using footage from the CCTV cameras installed in the office, and arrested Kashelkar and her two aides, Mohammad Raj Mohammad Amin Shaikh (39), and Naresh Anant Gaikwad (40), from Opera House area on Saturday.
Police have also managed to recover Rs 4,09,000 in cash and valuables from the woman’s house. Kashelkar is a resident of Girgaum and a worker for the Yuva Sena.
Pandurang Sakpal, the south Mumbai vibhag pramukh for the Shiv Sena, confirmed that Kashelkar had been an active member of the Bhartiya Vidyarthi Sena, which later became the Yuva Sena.
“However, I don’t have the details of the incident and hence cannot comment on the same,” Sakpal added. The trio have been remanded in police custody till today.