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Police have booked two persons for allegedly cheating Mumbai 'dabbawalas' to the tune of lakhs of rupees.

According to Shivaji Park Police in Central Mumbai, one Subodh Sangle was appointed by Mumbai Dabbewala Association to operate their website since last few years. During the period Sangle took help of two persons identified as Mayur Kanti and Rishabh Kanti to handle the day-to-day operations of the website, an official said.

As 'dabbawalas' are famous for their management skills and punctuality, many institutes, companies and organisations used to approach them for branding, promotions and events, the official said.

These branding, promotional events were handled by Sangle and his team and for that, they were using all the database of dabbawalas through their website and office, he added.

Meanwhile, Sangle and Mayur Kanti opened a new company with the name of 'India Coin', said the official. They projected as if the company belongs to Mumbai Dabbewala Association, he said. "The fees, remuneration and even bills which they used to receive from the various institutes, companies and clients due to promotion and branding was diverted into the account of India Coin," Subhash Talekar, spokesperson of Mumbai Dabbewala Association said.

"They have cheated us to the tune of around Rs 1 crore and this misappropriation was going on since last few years," Talekar said.

According to police, as of now, they have been able to trace the source of the amount of around Rs 45 lakh. "Our investigation is going on, as of now we have registered an offence under section 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating) of IPC and under the Information Technology Act," a police officer who is investigating the case said.

"As of now we have not found any evidence about the involvement of Subodh Sangle in this case, so we have registered an offence against Mayur Kanti and his brother Rishabh," an official said.

"We don't have knowledge of English, so we had appointed Sangle for handling our website. but, we have been cheated," said Talekar.

He demanded that the police investigate the case properly and the culprit be arrested. Police must not change the investigative officer as there are developments in the investigation, he said. Members of our association also met Guardian Minister Subhash Desai, he added.