Pune : June 19, 2023: In a startling incident, a 32-year-old man was apprehended by authorities for fraudulently posing as an army officer in order to impress women on matrimonial websites, swindle shopkeepers, and exploit toll booths for personal gains.
The Military Intelligence (MI) Southern Command Pune team received crucial information regarding the suspect’s deceptive activities, leading to his arrest.
In collaboration with the Pune Crime Branch team and two witnesses, the MI team conducted a search at the residence of Prashant Bhaurao Patil in Chikhli, Pimpri Chinchwad, Pune. Originally from the Belgaum district of Karnataka, Patil confessed during the investigation that he had served as a Lance Havaldar in the Assam Rifles, a paramilitary force, for a period of twelve years before deserting in 2019. Despite his desertion, he continued masquerading as an army officer, assuming the rank of Subedar or even Colonel of the 9th Para (Special Forces). To deceive others, he frequently roamed around the Southern Command Headquarters in Pune Camp while donning an army uniform.
Following a complaint filed by policeman Amol Pilane of the Anti-Extortion Cell-2 (Crime Branch), an FIR has been lodged against Patil at Bund Garden police station. He now faces charges under sections 170, 171, 420, 465, 468, and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which include fraud, impersonation, and forgery.
Assistant Police Inspector Changdev Sajgane is spearheading the ongoing investigation into the matter.
During the search, authorities found Patil in possession of an Aadhaar card and other identification documents featuring a photograph of him in an army uniform, along with the address of the Southern Command office. Allegedly, Patil exploited these forged documents to deceive unsuspecting individuals and evade toll fees during his travels. He is said to have cheated people in Ahmednagar and Pune, including at least one woman.
Further investigations revealed that Patil had procured army uniforms and related materials from a shop in the Line Bazaar area of Khadki, Pune, but failed to fulfill his financial obligations. The shopkeeper, a retired soldier, confirmed the purchase of two army officer uniforms worth Rs 4,700 but stated that Patil had neglected to make the payment.
As part of the evidence collection process, the police confiscated two uniforms, three phones (including an iPhone 14), and various identity documents.