Mumbai: Indebted runaway teen reunited with kin in Andheri East

The officials of crime branch unit 10 reunited a runway teen with his family, who had gone missing on July 5, and was traced in Virar a couple days later. The teen, had allegedly borrowed money to the tune of ₹40 lakh from his relatives, parents of friends and others to kickstart a business of his own, which failed to take off and ended up in debt. The teen, had written a cryptic note on social media that he had made a mistake and was going away, worrying his family.

According to sources attached to crime branch, a parallel probe was launched soon after the Saki Naka police station had received a missing person's complaint on July 6, in connection to the teen's disappearance a day prior, with a cryptic Instagram post where he had written, "I've made a mistake and you'll find me there". While the local police team tried to trace the mobile number, it was switched off, limiting their search with no headway in his last known location or leads from his friends, acquaintances.

It was, however, revealed that while the mobile number of the teen, who is a college dropout was switched off, his social media activity was still on, raising a suspicion of him using a different mobile phone. In a bid to expedite the search process, a special cyber team was roped in to trace the teen's social media activities and find leads on his location. On July 7, police traced the mobile's Internet Protocol address of the teen's social media activity to Virar, following which a team was dispatched.

Upon reaching the pinged location at Virar, the police team found the teen sitting disappointed, with a weary look on his face, outside a temple. The police approached him, took him in confidence and asked why did he run away, following which he confided in them that he had taken loans amounting to over ₹40 lakh from his friends, families and other acquaintance, including money lenders, which he had invested in his business of buying and supplying COVID related equipments.

The teen's business idea, however, failed to pick up and he ended up in debt with no way of repayment. He had even promised the investors of handsome returns, but to no avail. Realizing that the investors have now started asking for their money, he was embarrassed to come clean on it and ran away in a bid to escape. While police counseled the teen, he was later reunited with his kin.

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