Gang of three made away with Andheri-based family’s belongings worth R7 lakh; victims found the gang’s contact through an online platform, where they posed as a packing and moving company
Veena Kartik Singh with her family
The Oshiwara police on Wednesday apprehended the member of a gang operating a fake packing and moving business. The arrested accused, Sagar Chavan, hails from Kandivli. He and his two accomplices decamped with an Andheri-based family’s belongings worth over R7 lakh after the family hired them for their move to Hyderabad. Police sources said the other two accused are still at large.
Veena Kartik Singh, 43, runs an NGO named Kaam. She secured some projects in Hyderabad which necessitated for her to move there with her family. Singh found the contact of the accused through an online platform. The gang was listed as ‘DLH All India Transport and Moving Company’ and had provided a contact number. The scheme’s alleged mastermind is Vikas Singh.
The truck in which the family’s belongings were loaded
Singh told mid-day, “I secured substantial projects for my NGO and consequently, decided to shift to Shamshabad in Hyderabad. Using the supposed company’s contact from the online platform, I spoke to Vikas Singh on September 10. Vikas visited my home on the same day and quoted Rs 32,000. I negotiated a lower price of Rs 22,000, to which he agreed.”
“On the evening of September 14, Sagar Chavan arrived at my residence, accompanied by three others, to move our belongings into the tempo. Chavan said our belongings would reach Hyderabad within 18 hours. Later in the evening, another individual named Mahesh arrived to collect the tempo. He demanded an advance payment of Rs 10,000. I paid Mahesh Rs 2,000 and Vikas Rs 8,000,” said Singh.
On September 15, Vikas called Singh again, demanding the remaining payment. Vikas told her that her belongings had arrived in Hyderabad and that they required full payment immediately. A failure to pay would result in the goods being stored at a warehouse at the cost of Rs 1,000. Frustrated with the repeated demands for money, Singh rushed to the address of Vikas’s supposed shop in Oshiwara, only to discover that it did not exist. Singh reported the matter to the police on the same day.
The bill that was given to the victims by the gang
The police traced the accused by posing as customers. They booked the service for packers and movers using the same contact number given in her complaint by Singh. Assistant Police Inspector (API) Oshiwara police Anand Nagral said, “We also found the tempo, whose registration number was traced to Vashi and Singh’s belongings were successfully recovered on Tuesday. Chavan was found in Kandivli on Wednesday and a case under Sections 419 (impersonation), 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been registered.”
API Nagral added, “We have found during the investigation that the accused were earlier working with a packers and movers firm. They all left their jobs and started this racket.” The police suspect that the racket is around three months old. They are also checking if the gang targeted more citizens.
Price the movers agreed on for the job