Navi Mumbai Crime Branch arrested three persons and busted an inter-state racket who used to cheat vehicle owners on the pretext of running their vehicles for tour and travel. After taking vehicles and documents, they used to sell it in other states. They had cheated several vehicle owners in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Pune.
The arrested accused identified as Satyaprakash Verma alias Babu (30), Ashish Pujari (32), both resident of Palghar and Ayan alias Anthony Paul (38), a resident of Marol Naka in Mumbai. The police also arrested two other accused who bought vehicles from them.
Police recovered 20 vehicles worth Rs 1.21 crores and other vehicles were seized by different police stations in Gujarat for carrying liquor. The total recovery is worth Rs 2.2 crores.
Police said that they used to open tour and travel office and hired four to five employees. While Paul used to bring clients through different website, Babu and Pujari used to complete other formalities to take the vehicles on monthly rent. After taking vehicles and other documents, they used to sell them at lower price in Gujarat and other states. “After selling the vehicles whatever money they got, they used to pay two to three monthly rentals to vehicle owners. After that they used to close the office and flee,” said N B Kolhatkar, senior police inspector from Crime Branch.
Police said that they used to change their location and mobile to deceive police. However, police got a tip off that Verma resides in Palghar. During investigation, it was found that his wife resides and he visits there occasionally. “We took a room on rent and a police team was deputed there to keep a check on Verma's movements,” said the official. Finally, on November 6, he was arrested and he confessed his involvement in the racket.
Based on the interrogation, police team was sent to Bangalore to arrest Paul and Pujari. They were arrested from a hotel on November 19. “Paul is the main accused of the racket and he used Dubai's sim card to make WhatsApp call to commit the crime. He was also arrested by the crime branch,” said the official.
Meanwhile, police appealed that they had opened tour and travel offices at several places and if anyone was cheated by them, they can approach the Navi Mumbai Crime Branch.