23-year-old cons travel agents of over Rs 7 lakh
Woman and associate floated Internet-based travel firm offering domestic and international air tickets; owes two city travel agents Rs 7.21 lakh in airfare and tickets to 15 customers in Kandivli
The city police are on a mission to locate a 23-year-old woman who allegedly cheated several travel agents and customers in the city and disappeared with lakhs in cash. Now her father has filed a ‘missing person’ complaint after being unable to get in touch with her. Kandivli resident Urmi Vora and an associate started an Internet-based travel company by the name ‘Fly and Go Travels’ last year, and offered to book domestic and international air tickets, besides offering tour packages for interested customers.
Advertising was done through friends and by posting flyers in housing societies in and around Kandivli. The matter came to the fore after Parvez Virani, owner of travel agency District Holidays located at 16th Road in Bandra (West) realised that he had been cheated.
Virani claims he met Vora through a friend from the travel field. “I came in contact with her last month and we spoke on the telephone. She used to purchase tickets and pay in cash. Things were fine for two weeks, but then she began delaying the payments for the tickets. I then stopped dealing with her,” Virani said.
He added that Vora visited his shop in Bandra and wanted to buy tickets on cash-and-carry basis. She purchased tickets worth over Rs 5 lakh and gave Virani two cheques. “I presented the cheques in the bank the same day, but they bounced.
I tried to cancel the tickets, but by the time I had already suffered a loss of Rs 3.55 lakh. I tried calling her phone numbers to tell her to pay my dues, but on one occasion she said that she had met with an accident and another time she said she fell off a moving train. She also said that she was critically ill and was admitted in some hospital. Last week all her known numbers were not reachable or switched off. She has since been absconding,” Virani said.
Slew of complaints
The complaints against Vora have been mounting since her disappearance and Hitesh Gohil, owner of Khushi Travels in Kandivli, said, “I met her through a common friend and know her for some time now. She regularly purchased tickets and made payments. However, in the last month she purchased tickets worth over Rs 5.50 lakh and paid some amount in cash, but she still owes me Rs 3.66 lakh. She kept promising to pay, but she is not traceable now.”
Virani and Gohil have given written complaints to the Khar and Kandivli police stations respectively. Vora had collected tickets from the two travel agents and also collected cash from around 15 residents of the society she lives in at Kandivli. She has however failed to deliver their tickets and the residents have also given written complaints at the Kandivli police station.
Meanwhile, Vora’s father Manoj registered a missing person complaint on Thursday at Kandivli police station. He said, “I don’t know where my daughter has gone and I don’t know anything about any cases against her.”
API Navnath Sonavne of Khar police station said, “We will soon register a case against Vora. We are currently doing a background check and establishing her links.”