Mumbai crime: Trio siphoned off Rs 11 crore from 85-year-old's account

Aug 22, 2015, 15:03 IST | Saurabh Vaktania

The victim's 82-yr-old brother alleges that fraudsters who were his deceased brother's employees also stole Rs 2 crore and 1.5 kg gold and that he now has absolutely no money for his daily expenses

Here's another example of how the city continues to be apathetic to the plight of its senior citizens. Shahban Thanawala, an 82-year-old Churchgate resident, has been allegedly cheated by his servant and accountant of Rs 13 crore and over 150 tolas of gold.

Shahban Thanawala is all alone; once a millionaire, he now says that he has no money even for his daily expenses. Pic/Tushar Satam
Shahban Thanawala is all alone; once a millionaire, he now says that he has no money even for his daily expenses. Pic/Tushar Satam

Now the senior citizen is all alone; from being a millionaire, he says that he has no money even for his daily expenses. The accused were even eyeing his R30 crore flat where he is currently staying. Shahban Thanawala is a resident of Roxana building in Churchgate.

Shahban told mid-day, "My brother Ramzan, 85 and his wife used to stay here at Churchgate. I along with my sister Kulsum used to stay at our Grant Road flat. In 2011, my brother's wife died after which his friend Yusuf Patel approached him for keeping his son Minu for work.

As my brother knew him, he appointed him immediately as he was all alone. The planning (for the heist) started from there itself." Shahban's sister Kulsum also passed away a few years back. That's when Shahban came to know that something was amiss.

"Whenever I used to visit my brother, he was in a semi-conscious state. He told me that Yusuf (65), his son Minu (35) and accountant Behram Pardiwala (60) were continuously torturing him. They were making him sign papers and giving him sleeping pills. I have submitted a few of the sleeping pills given to my brother to the cops.

The three accused had planned to take all our money and the flat." He added, "We were two brothers and one sister. We have two flats valuing over Rs 50 crore, cash of over Rs 2 crore and Rs 11 crore in the bank, besides 150 tolas of gold which includes bangles, necklace, rings, etc.

All the property is in the name of all three of us, and after us it will go to the Jamaat at Nepean Sea Road." In February 2015, Ramzan's condition worsened, and he was admitted to Cumballa Hill Hospital.

While Shahban was busy attending to his brother, the three accused — servant Minu, his father Yusuf and accountant Pardiwala — along with two others, allegedly stormed into the Churchgate residence and took away cash of around Rs 2 crore and 150 tolas of gold. On February 15 Ramzan died due to a prolonged illness at the age of 85.

House robbed
Shahban said, "After completing all the rituals, I came home two days later and found the cash and jewellery missing. I knew the servant and accountant were involved. They threatened me; they said they would kill me if I informed the cops. One month later I was shocked when I found out that they had taken Rs 11 crore from the bank.

I was admitted to hospital. The accused had forged the documents and committed the crime." Shahban alleges that the cops were not ready to file an FIR. He said, "I met the DCP of Azad Maidan, they said there are several such cases and no immediate FIR will be filed.

After this, I moved court and on July 31, the court ordered to file an FIR. On August 5, the FIR was filed and the Rs 11 crore which had been transferred from my bank was seized." Shahban's advocate Vinosh Kashid said, "The cops are deliberately delaying the matter for unknown reasons.

The accused are roaming free with the money. 82-year-old Shahban's life is in danger; he is all alone at home. Even for daily food and work he has no money at all." Shahban said, "I want some money given to me so I can at least afford to pay my medical bills.

I am all alone, and the city is not for old people. They target us for money as we are easy targets. Officially I may have crores of rupees, but actually I don't have a single rupee for living."

Cop speak
DCP Ravindra Shisve of Zone-1 said, "No delay was done in filing FIR. However, after the court's order, the case was registered and the money was seized. All the accused will be arrested soon."

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