While family had cast aspersions on a client, it turns out missing man is neck deep in debt and ran away fearing reprisal
Mitesh Jain runs MRP Travels at Marine Lines
Hours after mid-day published the report about a Marine Lines travel agent who went missing, he called his wife to inform her that he was safe and in Bhopal. Meanwhile, the businessman, whom the family had blamed for his disappearance, has alleged that the agent is a fraudster who ran away after he demanded a refund for cancelled tickets.
Mitesh Jain, 37, who runs MRP Travels at Princess building in Marine Lines, had booked air tickets and hotels for 17 family members of Silver Emporium owner Kantilal Mehta for a trip to Switzerland. However, Mitesh cancelled the tickets without informing him.
His wife Monica Jain told mid-day, “He called me from an unknown number around 2 pm today and said that he was in Bhopal. He said he was mentally harassed and tortured by them (Kantilal and his office), so he fled to Bhopal.
Mehta’s family was stranded at Mumbai airport on Saturday morning
“I am still worried, as I don’t know if he is under threat or not. Until I see him, I won’t be relaxed,” she added. The family had filed a missing person’s complaint at Azad Maidan police station on Saturday.
Mitesh’s father Mangilal Jain and brother Jinesh Jain wanted to file an FIR against businessman Mehta. Jinesh now said, “He is safe. He is in Bhopal, he was not kidnapped.”
‘He is a fraud’
On Monday, Mehta also filed a complaint at Bhoiwada police station against Jain, stating that the cancellations by Mitesh without informing the fliers amounted to criminal breach of trust and fraud.
Kantilal Mehta, the client
Talking to mid-day, Mehta said, “Our office got in touch with Mitesh Jain through a common friend, as my son Rahul and his family members wanted to visit Switzerland. Office representative Zoya Munshi contacted him for booking 17 air tickets from Mumbai to Switzerland via Dubai, and hotel rooms. We paid him Rs 16.22 lakh almost a month back.”
“My son’s family, including his children, were scheduled to fly out of Mumbai in the wee hours of July 2, and they got the tickets on June 29 after consistent follow ups. However, the airline prevented them from boarding the flight as their tickets had been cancelled.
“It was an embarrassing situation for my family. Moreover, it was after midnight and the children were sleepy. Panicked, my son called me and informed me about the situation. I called Mitesh, but he didn’t answer, so I immediately left for Mitesh’s house,” he added.
During the first approach, he didn’t open the door, so I approached the Bhoiwada police for help and police personnel accompanied me. Mitesh still did not answer us. We could not create any noise, as it would have disturbed the neighbours,” Mehta said.
The businessman said he later called his friend Manish who had introduced him to Mitesh. “When Manish called Jain, he sought to resolve the issue. On Saturday morning, Jain told Manish that his party based out of Kolkata had cancelled the tickets. Meanwhile, I called his father Mangilal and told him that his son had cheated him. Mangilal requested me to wait.”
‘Duped others, too’
“Mitesh visited our Kalbadevi office later on Saturday and accepted that he had cheated us. He promised to give the refund. I asked for a post-dated cheque, for which he had to go to his office, so I sent two of our employees with him. They were following him, but Mitesh disappeared at a junction,” he added.
Mehta said his family made fresh bookings and left for their vacation after being stuck at the airport for 11 hours.
“We have learnt that Jain has defrauded many high profile businessmen in Mumbai in a similar fashion. But, none of them want to approach the police as their money is stuck with him,” Mehta alleged.
An officer of the Azad Maidan police station said, “We have been told by Mitesh Jain’s family that he called his wife from Bhopal. We are also checking the CCTV camera footage of the location where he was last seen—near a junction in south Mumbai. We have asked the Jain family to report to us immediately when he returns home.”
Amount paid to him for 17 now-cancelled tickets