Mumbai: Holiday seekers conned of Rs 12 lakh

Mumbai: The Amboli Police have arrested a 42-year-old woman, who was absconding since 2018, for cheating at least 11 people in Andheri (W) to the tune of Rs 12 lakh.

The arrested woman, Seema Patel, had conned many upper-middle class individuals on the pretext of offering them holiday packages and accommodation in 5-star hotels.

Seema and her husband, Raman, 43, charged from Rs 75,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh for various holiday packages, but never fulfilled their promise of a five-star stay.

The couple was booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for cheating. While Seema was arrested, a search for her husband is on.

The Gujarat-based couple had established a travel company, Sun Star Club, at Laxmi Industrial Estate in Andheri (W) last year. The couple released an advertisement, asking prospective travellers to avail memberships for holiday packages.

Customers were told they were eligible for a 12/24/36 day holiday based on the package they chose--gold/diamond/platinum, respectively.

A police source also said the couple enticed customers by claiming that many Bollywood personalities and renowned cricketers were members of their club.

Many succumbed to the offer and over 15 people availed of the membership of the club for premium ranging from Rs 75,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh; the couple’s booty was Rs 12 lakh.

When customers contacted the couple to redeem their packages, they stopped responding. Irate customers then approached the Amboli Police in 2018 and registered a complaint against Seema, Raman and another accomplice, whose role is yet to be established.

During investigations last year, the police found that the couple had cheated many people across the country using the same modus operandi. Soon after a case was registered, the couple shut their Andheri office and fled.

A police officer said that the couple was earlier booked and arrested in similar cheating cases in Jaipur, Rajkot, Noida, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Rajasthan.

Last week, they received a tip-off that Seema had been arrested in a cheating case and was lodged in Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati Jail. On November 11, the police brought Seema in transit custody and arrested her in this case.

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