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Mumbai

Updated on: Thursday, January 23, 2020, 08:07 AM IST

Mumbai: Priest dupes devotees by performing ‘gold pooja’, arrested

The accused, Ajay Jangam (in pic), was arrested recently and around 954 grams gold worth Rs36.10 lakh recovered.
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Mumbai: The Navi Mumbai crime branch police arrested a 35-year-old priest for duping people of their gold ornaments on the pretext of performing a pooja on the gold jewellery to ward off evil spirits.

The accused, Ajay Jangam (in pic), was arrested recently and around 954 grams gold worth Rs36.10 lakh recovered. He has been booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for cheating (420) and criminal breach of trust (406).

The complainant, a Kamothe resident, knew Jangam for the past several years, as he frequented the temple he preached in. Over the years, he had gained the trust of the devotees in the neighbourhood who would often request him to help solve problems in their life. They discussed with him their family issues and sought remedies for it, police said.

Similarly, the complainant approached Jangam to solve his problems, to which the arrested accused suggested to bring all their gold, on which he would perform a pooja to ward off the evil spirits.

The pooja would eventually pay the penance to purify the family. “Jangam claimed he would perform a pooja on the jewellery for 11 or 21 days and either fled with the jewellery or pawn it to a goldsmith and flee.

When a case was registered against Jangam on January 11, we began a search operation, but since he did not use a mobile phone, it was difficult for us to track this man,” said a crime branch official.

Acting on a tip-off, the police laid a trap near Sanpada and arrested Jangam. During the interrogation, he confessed to his crimes and revealed he had swindled gold ornaments worth Rs36.10 lakh using the same modus operandi.

“We suspect that he had duped many others using the same technique and we are in the process of identifying the other victims,” added the officer.

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Published on: Thursday, January 23, 2020, 08:07 AM IST
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