Malabar Hill Police arrested two brothers for allegedly duping people on the pretext of promising them a villa in Lonavala on rent. The accused, identified as Avinash Jadhwani, 26, and his brother Aakash, 22, had created a profile on Instagram and were duping people by offering villas for picnic at a reasonable charge.
According to the police, the accused have been duping people for over a year. So far, they have duped at least 20 people from the city in a similar manner. There are similar offences registered against them in Thane and Pune as well, said the police.
The investigation revealed that both the Jadhawani brothers have morphed a photograph of a villa in Goa and claimed that the said property was located in Kune village in Lonavala to lure people into the trap.
In the third week of July, the complaint, a resident of Malabar Hill, contacted them for a villa booking and paid Rs 50,000. On the day of the picnic, the accused claimed that a blast had taken place in their villa and cancelled the booking. They assured a refund, but stopped entertaining the complaint since then. Realising something was amiss, the complaint asked one of their relatives in Lonavala to enquire. On checking the given address, it was revealed that there was no such property.
The complainant approached the Malabar Hill police station and lodged their complaint.
The police registered an offence of cheating and forgery under relevant sections of the Information Technology Act and began their investigation.
The police tried to trace their mobile location and finally arrested them from Kalyani Nagar, Vadgaon Sheri, in Pune with the help of their contact details submitted to the bank in which they allegedly accepted the money from victims. "Prima facie, it appears that they have similarly duped at least 20 people in Mumbai alone and there are also cases registered against them in Thane and Pune," said Suryakant Bangar, senior inspector of Malabar Hill police station.