Car salesman takes customer for a ride

Aug 06, 2012, 06:31 IST | Vinay Dalvi

The accused convinced the victim to pay Rs 9 lakh in cash to get an early delivery of an SUV; he then provided a slew of excuses over months to avoid delivery, and then absconded

A sales executive working with NBS International Limited, a subsidiary of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, cheated a customer to the tune of Rs 9 lakh, after luring him with the prospects of immediate delivery of a Mahindra XUV 500 Sport Utility vehicle. On Sunday, the DB Marg police arrested the 26-year-old executive Azar Akhtar Ahmed on charges of cheating.

Car-dinal sin: The Mahindra car showroom where the victim entered into transactions with the accused, 26-year-old sales executive Azar Akhtar Ahmed

According to the police, Abdul Wali Siddiqui (19), a resident of Colaba, wanted to buy a SUV. When he visited the NBS International Limited showroom at Girgaum Chowpatty in March 2012, he picked out the SUV and proceeded to book it.

“The receptionist introduced Siddiqui to Ahmed,” said a police officer from D B Marg police station. Ahmed then told Siddiqui to draw up a cheque of Rs 20,000 towards NBS International Ltd, to book the SUV. Siddiqui provided an SBI bank cheque to Ahmed.

Cash for delivery
Ahmed then contacted Siddiqui again, telling him that he would have to wait for at least six months before the SUV could be delivered to him. He promised that he could arrange for a quick delivery, on condition that half the price of the SUV be paid immediately in cash, while the other half could be paid against a loan.

“Accordingly, Siddiqui paid Rs 80,000 to Ahmed on March, 16. Siddiqui’s mother Abidabanu also accompanied him. Siddiqui paid Ahmed a total of Rs 9,75,000. When he asked for receipts, Ahmed told him that he required them for the sanction of a loan. Ahmed assured Siddiqui not to
worry and assured him that the SUV would be delivered to him on April 9,” said the police officer.

Excuses galore
Over the next few months, Ahmed provided a slew of excuses to delay the delivery, ranging from mistakes in Siddiqui’s signature to the death of his grandfather. He told Siddiqui that he was leaving for Lucknow for last rites, and asked him to contact a man called Akhtar.

“Siddiqui called the number he was provided, but the phone it belonged to was switched off. Suspicious, he visited the showroom, and discovered that Ahmed was absconding. He even met several employees of NBS International Ltd, who told him that they had not received any cash from him,” said the police officer.

Siddiqui then registered a case of under Section 420 of the IPC against Ahmed for cheating. The police reached his Mira Road address with his employers, only to be told that he had left the house a year ago.

They finally received a tip-off and arrested Ahmed from Karoli Building on Mira Road, where he was hiding out.

NBS International Ltd could not be reached for comment. 

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