Mumbai: In another case of crime and scams, Mumbai’s dabbawalas were conned by two brothers in a scam regarding high amount of money. The Shivaji Park police have arrested the crooks, who swindled nearly Rs 1 crore out of the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association, by hijacking their website and email ID to commit their crime.
In this case the cops have arrested main accused Mayur Kanti, 39, and his brother Rishabh Kanti, 33, for impersonating the dabbawala community online and siphoning off their earnings from international lectures. The police have so far in their investigation traced fraudulent transactions amounting to Rs 60 lakh, but the cops suspect that the scam is much larger, to the tune of Rs 1 crore, reported Mid-Day.
DCP (Zone V) Rajiv Jain said, “The amount is likely to increase and we are also probing the role of other suspects in the case.”
“There are some other accused who are yet to be arrested. People involved in the scam are trying to influence the investigation,” said Ulhas Muke, president of Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association.
The FIR was filed after a complaint filed by 63-year-old dabbawala Sambhaji Medge, after the tiffin carriers found lakhs missing from their funds. This money had come from ads, presentations and lectures delivered at international universities by the dabbawalas and many other initiatives.
The fees the dabbawalas earn from these trips are deposited with two trusts — Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers and Mumbai Tiffin Box suppliers Association. Some of the money is donated. The remaining money is kept for emergencies for dabbawalas in their time of need.
The prime accused, Mayur, was an event co-ordinator hired by Subodh Sangale, the speaker and co-ordinator for the association. But Mayur redirected the money to a bank account under the company The Indian Coin, owned by his brother Rishabh. He even took cash from the clients, sources said.
When the association found out that something was not right and Rs 15.29 lakh was missing, they were shocked to learn that Mayur was behind it. Immediately, they sacked him, but Mayur grew bolder with his scheming. Investigations further revealed that he started misusing the letterhead and the signatures of the other office bearers to fool Rediffmail into giving him control of the association’s email account and website. He then hijacked the dabbawalas’ online identity and began to take money from clients.
The Shivaji Park police have charged the accused under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention) of the IPC, and Sections 66C and 66D of the Information Technology Act.
The cops are also looking into the involvement of Rediffmail. Asked about the involvement of Rediffmail employees, DCP Jain said, “So far we have not found anything, but we are investigating into it deeply.” The police found that the duo had stolen Rs 59.16 lakh from 35-40 events between April 2015 and October 2016. Cops have frozen Rs 3.97 lakh in the accused’s accounts.
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