Mumbai

Three arrested for car lease fraud

Stolen wheels: Six bikes worth ₹13.56 lakh were recovered by the police in a motorcycle theft case.

Stolen wheels: Six bikes worth ₹13.56 lakh were recovered by the police in a motorcycle theft case.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Bate

Cheated victims of cars worth ₹2.37 crore by promising high-paying deals

The Aarey police have recovered 27 cars and six bikes, in two separate cases. Ashish Rajbhar (23) was arrested, and his minor accomplice booked, in a motorcycle theft racket, and six bikes worth ₹13.56 lakh were recovered from them.

In another case, Amit Sawant (39) and Raja Nadar (35) allegedly masterminded a racket in which they would take cars from unsuspecting people, pretending to lease them out to tour and travel companies, but use them in illegal activities or sell them to third parties instead. Four-wheelers worth over ₹2 crore have been recovered.

They would approach car owners looking to lease out their cars and offer to facilitate deals with tours and travels companies. They would claim that they could get short-term deals paying out amounts as high as ₹90,000 per car, at ₹18,000 per month. However, the duo would go incommunicado after paying one month’s installment. Officers said their interrogation led the police to Chaitanya Patkar (44) from Pune, who drove the cars for them and also sold some of them to others.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone XII) Dr. D.S. Swamy said, “The cars were used for illegal purposes like delivering tobacco products and liquor in the Chandrapur district and many of them were sold to third parties. We have detected 37 such cases, and recovered 27 cars worth ₹2.37 crore. The remaining cars have been traced to Nashik, Nagpur and Madhya Pradesh and will be recovered soon.”

Dinesh Kotian, one of the people who fell prey to the racket, said that he was informed about the ‘scheme’ through WhatsApp. “The accused were paying ₹30,000 to ₹50,000 per month for lending cars like Swift Dzire and Innova. They also showed me five cars in their possession, hence I started trusting them. I was paid ₹25,000 after a month but later the payment stopped. When we asked about our cars, they told us to find them ourselves as they were unaware of their location.”

Dinesh Yadav, another lender, said, “I was told that my car would be leased out to a reputed private company. Now, our cars are in a damaged condition.”

The accused have been charged with cheating and criminal breach of trust under the Indian Penal Code.

Meanwhile, Shubham Singh (23) was arrested in a string of chain snatching cases in MIDC and Aarey.

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Printable version | Mar 26, 2020 6:24:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/three-arrested-for-car-lease-fraud/article29311505.ece

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