Mumbai: Police Arrest Two Owners Of Vihar Canteen At IIT Powai For Defrauding Elderly Catering Professional

Mumbai: Police Arrest Two Owners Of Vihar Canteen At IIT Powai For Defrauding Elderly Catering Professional

A Powai police official revealed that all three accused parties fled as soon as the FIR was lodged. Four months later, the authorities managed to apprehend two of the three partners accused, namely Ravindra Kotian and Sanjeev Pujari.

Vishal SinghUpdated: Sunday, October 22, 2023, 11:46 PM IST
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The Powai police have taken into custody two individuals, Ravindra Rameshwar Kotian and Sanjeev Dadu Pujari, proprietors of Vihar Canteen located within IIT Powai. The arrests come following allegations of defrauding a senior catering professional, who has accused them of luring him with a promise of 50 percent partnership and subsequently misappropriating approximately ₹91 lakhs that he had invested in the canteen business. It is essential to note that a third partner, Narayan Pujari, is also affiliated with the canteen.

According to the Powai police, the complainant, a 70-year-old catering business owner, caters to clients in the Byculla and Nagpada areas. He first crossed paths with Ravindra and Sanjeev approximately four years ago. The accused duo convinced the complainant that they were the owners of Vihar Canteen situated in IIT Powai. Subsequently, the complainant visited Vihar Canteen in April 2019 to evaluate its operations, infrastructure, revenue, and associated documentation.

The promise of partnership

Ravindra and Sanjeev disclosed that Narayan Pujari and Navneet Pujari were existing partners within the canteen business and expressed their desire to retire. In lieu of the departing partners, they offered the complainant a 50 percent partnership, with the condition that he invest a minimum of one crore rupees, ensuring substantial profits. Lured by the proposition, the complainant agreed to enter into business with them.

Between May 2019 and January 2023, the complainant transferred a total of ₹91.25 lakhs to Ravindra, Sanjeev, and Narayan, with ₹46.50 lakhs disbursed in cash and ₹44.75 lakhs through cheque, RTGS, and NEFT transactions. Despite assurances of a 50 percent profit share after investment, the accused attempted to deceive the complainant by providing a fixed sum for several months. Furthermore, while the complainant was under the impression that Narayan Pujari would be replaced upon retirement, he later discovered that Narayan remained a partner.

In effect, by enticing the complainant with the prospect of partnership, these three individuals managed to swindle ₹91.25 lakhs from him for the business. Upon realizing the deception, the complainant promptly filed a complaint with the Powai police against Ravindra Kotian, Sanjeev Pujari, and Narayan Pujari.

A Powai police official revealed that all three accused parties fled as soon as the FIR was lodged. Four months later, the authorities managed to apprehend two of the three partners accused, namely Ravindra Kotian and Sanjeev Pujari.

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