Travel agent sells fake flight tickets for Rs 3.6 lakhs, shuts shop
Fourteen members of 39-year-old Akluj businessman Jaideep Borawake’s family, including his wife and two children, who were looking forward to a summer holiday in Kashmir received a rude shock on Monday morning at the Lohegaon airport in the city when Indigo airlines told them all their tickets were fake and the PNR numbers bogus.
Borawake, who has chemical business in Akluj, did not take long to realise that the travel agent, Swakul Deo, who had taken Rs 3.60 lakh from him for air bookings for 14 people, had sent him fake tickets.
The next thing Borawake did was to lodge a complaint with the Airport police station against Deo and his travel agency Omkar Holidays for issuing him fake air tickets.
“I and my three cousins had planned a summer holiday in Kashmir as our children’s summer vacations are on. I contacted Omkar Holidays through the Internet. I spoke to the owner of the agency, Swakul Deo, and told him that we are 14 people and want to go on a summer vacation to Kashmir and also that while going and coming we would like to halt at Delhi,” Borawake said. “He asked me to deposit Rs 3.60 lakh into his Axis bank account on March 28 and on March 30 he sent us tickets of Indigo and Air India by mail.”
Borawake said that the family arrived at the Lohegaon airport on May 7 at 4 am with the printouts of the tickets for the 5.55 am flight to Delhi, but received a rude shock at the Indigo counter.
“When I reached to the Indigo counter to collect our boarding passes, the lady there told me that the PNR numbers on the tickets were fake and there was no record in their system that our 14 passengers were supposed to travel by that particular flight,” Borawake said. “We later checked our other tickets and were stunned to learn that those tickets were also bogus. I can not explain how shocked we were as everybody was so enthusiastic about the holiday in Kashmir.”
Borawake then called up Deo on his cell phone, but he did not answer the call.
Office shut for days
Borawake then went to Deo’s office on JM Road and discovered it had not been opened for several days.
“We then approached the Airport police station as the airline officials said we would have to lodge complaint at the local police station and not with them. After lodging the complaint, I again checked the availability of other flights and booked tickets for the same day in the evening as our hotels were booked in Delhi as well as in Pehalgam in Jammu and Kashmir and I did not want to disappoint my family,” Borawake said.
A person from neighbouring office said Omkar Holidays had been closed for some days.
Booked, not arrested
Senior Police Inspector Prakash Shaha with the Airport police station said Deo had been booked for cheating and would be arrested soon.
“We have booked Swakul Deo, the owner of Omkar Holidays, under Section 420 of the IPC and the IT Act and soon he will be arrested,” Shaha said. “We tried to contact Deo, but his wife told us that he was currently undergoing treatment at a city hospital. We will send our policemen to confirm whether he is really ill or faking it to avoid action.”