Thane: Anti-Extortion Cell arrests 42-year-old for duping 230 people of Rs 4 crore

A 42-year-old man was arrested by Anti-extortion Cell of Thane crime branch for duping people to a tune of Rs 1.28 crore. The accused on the pretext of giving higher returns asked the people to invest in forex trading and cheat them.

The police said the arrested accused is identified as Pankaj Tukaram Bagal 42, a resident of Sanpada in Navi Mumbai. "He was arrested on Monday evening in Thane and was produced in court on Tuesday and is remanded in police custody till April 23. We have handed him over to the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Thane who are further investigating the matter," said Rajkumar Kothmire, senior police inspector, Anti Extortion Cell, Thane.

The police during the investigation found he had cheated around 230 victims to a tune of Rs 4 crore approximately. "During investigation he also revealed about a cheating case registered with Rabale police station in Navi Mumbai," added Kothmire.

The police said Anjana Ram Subramanium 54, a chartered accountant and resident of Borivali had registered a case on 18 January 2021 under section 406, 409, 420 and 34 of the Indian penal code. Anjana in her statement to police said in April 2018, through Ashwin Prabhakar they visited the Kopri office Spike and fortune trading. Ashwin assured about doing a partnership with Bagal and the firm is forex trading (foriegn currency trading) in Dubai. They also assure for 4 percent interest returns on investment of Rs 1 lakh. "After Anjana started getting returns for her investment. She started investing for her family members. She was also assured to open an agency and bring investors. If she came up with any customer she would get 2 percent on it. Anjana and her son along with 20 investors had paid almost Rs 53.50 lakh to the firm. They lure us to bring more and more investors to get perks from it. Bagal also lured for offers like gold coin and abroad tours," she added in her statement to police.

The police said like Anjana there were other investors including Jyoti Gupta Rs 30 lakhs, Venkat Ramanrao Rs 29.3 lakhs and Vijay Sagar Rs 15.50 lakhs among others who total invested Rs 1.28 crore. "Earlier, the cheques were clear and payments were received. But later Bagal asked to stop the cheque stating he had a dispute with the bank. In March 2019 a newspaper reported Bagal was booked by Rabale police for cheating. However, when we questioned him he assured us about a fraud case being registered against him. And by messages he assured the investors of returning the cash by April 2020. After getting no response a case was registered in January 2021,"said a police officer.

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