Mumbai: The Chembur police have booked four of a family and one of their acquaintances for allegedly cheating 40 of ₹24 lakh on the pretext of sending them on Haj. All of them are on the run. According to the police, the complainant, Wasim Mustar, 40, hails from West Bengal and went to meet his sister living in Jharkhand. There, he met one of the accused, Mohammad Shahbaz Ali, who said that he works as a manager at a travel firm that helps devotees go on Haj.
Mustar then told Ali that even many people from his village wish to perform Haj. Subsequently, the latter gave the complainant a visiting card bearing the address Al Qureshi Travels, Rajkamal Nursery Compound, Chembur Naka. The aggrieved also spoke to the travel firm owner on phone. He then left for his village and made a list of those who wished to go on Haj. Next, Mustar arrived in Mumbai and met travel firm owner Salim Qureshi at his office. His wife Salma, son Rashid and daughter Saeeda were also present during the discussion.
Mustar told the Qureshis that 40 people from his village wished to go on Haj. The accused asked to transfer ₹75,000 to Ali's account. The complainant immediately gave the money and later deposited ₹24 lakh as the 'fees' for 40 devotees. He even couriered their passports. After a few days, the Qureshis sent flight tickets along with receipts for hotel bookings.
Threat from accused
However, the trouble started when Mustar queried for visas. Simultaneously, he also discovered that the documents sent so far by the accused were fake. When confronted, the accused even gave threats, said Mustar, adding that inquiries with locals revealed that the family had cheated many people in a similar manner.
A cheating case has been registered and a search is on for all the accused, said senior Inspector Nagraj Majaje.