Mumbai

Man who cheated people after befriending them online held

Under the lens: Thane police personnel check cameras recovered from the accused, Mahesh Bhogle (right), on Thursday.

Under the lens: Thane police personnel check cameras recovered from the accused, Mahesh Bhogle (right), on Thursday.  

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Mahesh Bhogle would take gadgets like cameras and laptops on ‘rent’ and sell them

Mumbai: A fraudster who would allegedly get in touch with people online, take expensive gadgets like cameras and laptops on ‘rent’, and sell them to third parties before changing his number and location, has been arrested. The accused has a number of cases registered against him in Thane and Pune.

According to the Thane Nagar police, inquiries were initiated in August after Thane resident Vishal Sanap registered a complaint. Mr. Sanap said he had been contacted by the accused, identified as Mahesh Bhogle (36), on Facebook, and after initial conversation, Mr. Bhogle allegedly told Mr. Sanap that he needed a professional camera on rent.

Man who cheated people after befriending them online held

As Mr. Sanap owned a professional camera, he agreed to give it to Mr. Bhogle on rent. However, within a week, Mr. Bhogle allegedly went incommunicado, after which Mr. Sanap approached the police.

During the course of investigation, the police found out that several others had been cheated by the accused. An officer who was part of the investigating team said, “We obtained call detail records (CDRs) of the number that Mr. Bhogle had used to contact Mr. Sanap, and drew up a list of frequently called numbers. A study of the registration details of the numbers helped us zero in on one such number, which was found to be registered in his mother’s name in his home town Chiplun. We then obtained CDRs of her phone and culled out numbers from which she frequently received calls.”

The police then traced the cellular location of the most recent number that was in regular touch with Mr. Bhogle’s mother, and picked up Mr. Bhogle from a plush hotel in Mahabaleshwar on December 22.

“Mr. Bhogle admitted to have committed a series of crimes so that he could live a lavish lifestyle. His interrogation has also helped us crack other cases registered over the past six years,” the officer said. Inquiries so far have revealed that he contacted several people through OLX and took laptops from 12 people in Pune on ‘rent', after which he sold them and fled with the profits. A complaint regarding the matter was subsequently registered with the Swargate police in Pune.

“We have also found out that he ‘rented’ three cars through OLX and sold them on a second hand basis earlier this year. All the three cars have been recovered. He was also arrested by the Vartak Nagar police in Thane for a similar offence in 2015. As the accused is fluent in English and is well educated, he was able to win his victims’ confidence easily,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) DS Swami said.

Mr. Bhogle has been charged with criminal breach of trust under the Indian Penal Code, and has been remanded in police custody till Friday.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 5:06:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/man-who-cheated-people-after-befriending-them-online-held/article25845059.ece

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