Don’t believe people claiming proximity to ministers: Cops

Mumbai: With recent incidents of citizens being cheated by people posing as confidants of ministers and government servants coming to light, Mumbai police has appealed to the masses to not fall prey to such ploys. Recently, police arrested two persons in separate incidents, for duping people with this modus operandi.

Manjunath Singe, DCP (Operations) and Mumbai police spokesperson said, “Few cases of the accused persons cheating innocent citizens claiming to be a close friend / relative /confidant of a minister and promising them business contracts through government departments for money have been lodged.”

In one such case, Matunga police had arrested a 53-year-old man, Jyotikumar Agarwal, a schoolmate of Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, for cheating an environment consultant, Manish Patel.

Police said Agarwal had promised Patel to get him a business contract through a central government scheme and duped him of Rs1.50 lakh. Agarwal took Rs1.50 lakh from Patel in October on the pretext of giving a ‘Diwali gift’ to Goyal. Moreover, the accused also created a fake email ID in Goyal’s name, to send an email to himself and later forwarded it to Patel.

A similar case was filed at Khar police station last week, wherein Jitendra Ghadi, 23, who claimed to be a confidant of erstwhile Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, had cheated a man of Rs1.09 lakh on the pretext of getting him a job. Ghadi met Vishwanath Gurav in 2017, when the latter was in search of a government job.

Police said, earlier this month, Ghadi contacted Gurav and offered him the job of a ticket collector (TC). Ghadi also gave him a forged offer letter and cheated him of Rs1.09 lakh. Ghadi was arrested on Sunday, and spilled the beans.

After similar cheating cases came to light, DCP Singe has requested the citizens to stay alert and not fall into such traps. “If anyone claims to be a close friend of a minister or civil servant and promises to get any work done for a small amount of money, please do not fall prey and give them any money. Please inform the nearest police station and help us to help you,” said Singe.

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