Car rental scam in Mumbai: Now, employee speaks out against scamster

Updated: Mar 14, 2019, 08:38 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

Deepak Bhoir, who worked for main accused Maniesh Sethi, has given his statement to police on the wrongdoings at the company

Car rental scam in Mumbai: Now, employee speaks out against scamster
Investors including Deepak Kamble (in pink shirt) outside one of Maniesh Sethi’s properties in Vikhroli. Pic/Sameer Markande

A retired assistant police inspector (API) was among the 45 employees of M/s Sainergy Cabs 9, floated by mastermind Maniesh Sethi, in the multi-crore rent-a-car scheme, in which over 600 people were duped at Vikhroli.

Like many other employees, the retired API, Shashikant Gaikwad, has not been paid salary for some months. While his employees like Gaikwad suffered, Sethi continued to boast. "We will get contracts from large beverage manufacturing companies and famous Bollywood production houses, for renting cars," he allegedly told them. Deepak Bhoir, 50, who worked with Sethi as transport manager, has decided to speak about all the wrong doings within the company.

"I questioned him (Sethi) for not paying drivers' salary, so he dumped me in another office and stopped paying my salary," said Bhoir, whose statement has been recorded by Vikhroli police. Incidentally, Bhoir is also an investor in the rent-a-car scheme, and started working with Sethi from 2017. Since September 2018 he has not received his monthly Rs 30,000 salary, nor has he been paid returns on his car, that he had hired to the company.

According to Bhoir, Sethi hired nearly 55 cars with the yellow registration 'T' permit. There were another 180 cars with white registration numbers, of which 116 were parked at the BMC parking in Chandivali. Of these, 14 cars were in February 2019 released, after paying Rs 4.10 lakh as parking charges, but remaining 102 vehicles are there. Some other cars are with dealers.

Also Read: My plans failed: Car rental scamster to Mumbai police

'Fake vehicle papers'
According to Bhoir, almost 630 investors had deposited between R1.80 lakh and R2.20 lakh to book cars, but few invested up to R40 lakh. Sethi accepted the money and made fake vehicle papers for many investors. According to Bhoir, sometime in September 2018, Sethi failed to get a contract from a large beverage company. Sethi owed huge returns to investors but concealed this from them and employees.

Also Read: Mumbai: How 600 Mumbaikars were duped in car rental scam

Employees summoned
In connivance with Dilip Satra and others, Sethi continued to lure new investors, claimed Bhoir. Gradually, regular contracts with IT companies and call centres were not renewed, as Sethi did not pay drivers whose 'T' permit vehicles he hired. The Vikhroli police on Wednesday summoned some employees of Sethi and recorded their statements. Most investors do not have a source of income. Deepak Kamble, an investor said, "My monthly EMI for car loans goes over R15,000 per car. But having a white number plate means I cannot use both cars as tourist vehicles. I will have to pay EMIs, which I cannot afford anymore."

Another investor, Munna Jaiswal, who is in Gorakhpur taking care of his ailing mother said, "I hope at least our hard earned money is returned fast now that the accused is in police custody. A fortnight before his surrender, I had spoken to Sethi and explained to him my poor financial condition, he had assured to return my money soon, but now, my ray of hope of getting some money back has become dim."

Also Read: Mumbai: Commissioner of Police to use Twitter to raise voice against Ponzi schemes

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