Pune Lawyer Falls Victim to ₹ 25 Lakh Money-Doubling Con

Pune Lawyer Falls Victim to ₹ 25 Lakh Money-Doubling Con

Pune Lawyer Falls Victim to ₹ 25 Lakh Money-Doubling Con

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Mumbai’s Park Site police are looking for two people, including a taxi driver, who they say conned a lawyer out of ₹25 lakh by claiming to double his money.

29 May 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari 

A manhunt has been initiated by the Park Site police for two individuals, one of whom is a taxi driver, for allegedly defrauding a Pune-based lawyer, aged 55, of ₹25 lakh by pretending to double his money.

The accused was first encountered in Powai by the complainant, Popat Tejraj Gandhi, a lawyer who resides in Pune with his family. Bags carrying ₹50 lakh in cash were traded between them. The accused kept the bag in the trunk of the taxi while forcing him to sit in it. The victim was dropped off by the taxi driver at Ghatkopar, but he ran off before he could retrieve the bag from the trunk.

In the FIR, Gandhi said that he had met the accused, Deva, in Baramati a few years prior through a mutual friend. He subsequently heard Deva promising to double the money if someone handed him ₹20 lakh or more, according to what he overheard Deva saying to his chauffeur, Laxman Bhosale.

Deva and Bhosale were in constant communication after the transaction. On 18th May, the complainant and his driver travelled to Mumbai for work. Curious about how Deva would double the money, the complainant made the decision to meet with him. They first met at a five-star hotel close to Marine Drive. According to a police official, the victim had ₹5 lakh in cash, but Deva claimed it was considerably less and he needed at least ₹25–30 lakh, which he could quadruple.

The victim was carrying only ₹5 lakh in cash when they met again at Hiranandani hospital at 6:30 p.m, so Deva refused to accept it and insisted on ₹25 lakh, the officer continued.

The complainant, his spouse and driver Bhosale arrived in Mumbai on 25th May with ₹25 lakh in their vehicle from Pune. On 26th May, they made plans to meet close to Powai. They first went to Vijay Sales in Ghatkopar because Gandhi’s wife wanted to get an iPod. Gandhi parked his automobile in Ghatkopar on Deva’s instruction. According to the officer, Gandhi and his driver then got into an auto and drove to meet Deva close to the Hiranandani hospital in Powai.

Gandhi gave Deva the bag that contained ₹25 lakh. Deva offered him a bag in return, saying it held ₹50 lakh, and showed him the money. Senior inspector Santosh Ghatekar of the Park Site police station stated that it was unclear if the cash was in genuine notes or something else because the victim was unable to verify it. Following the bag exchange, Deva requested that Gandhi store the bag in the trunk of the taxi when he called for one. Ghatekar stated that Gandhi then requested the driver to drop them off at Ghatkopar, where his wife was waiting.

They were dropped off at the Vijay Sales dealership in Ghatkopar by the cab driver. After Gandhi paid the cab fare and they both got out, the driver departed in the direction of Bhandup before they could open the trunk and retrieve the bag containing the cash.

After speaking with Deva, he assured him not to be concerned and promised to speak with the driver. After waiting a day for a response, the victim went to the Park Site police station and filed a complaint against Deva and the driver of the car.