Recently, a 60-year-old serial groom was stopped in his tracks by the JJ Marg police who arrested him after he had duped at least six women by marrying them and later running off with their cash and jewellery.
Police found that Vipin Karkhanis scouted for victims through matrimonial bureaus, presented himself as the ideal groom by lying about his background, and then disappeared with the victim’s cash and jewellery.
In July, the Matunga police arrested Rahul Patil, a 30-year-old IT engineer, after he had duped a city doctor, whom he had ‘chosen’ from a matrimonial website.
Patil had turned up at the doctor’s residence with a stolen car that he presented as his own and said he wanted to marry her. After spending a few days with the doctor under the pretext of understanding each other, Patil fled with her cash and valuables.
Police investigations revealed that Patil would use matrimonial advertisements in newspapers for victims who seemed well-employed.
The police have busted at least four cases this year where the accused, usually well-educated and smooth talkers, used matrimonial forums to scout for victims, presented themselves as favourable grooms, won the victim’s trust, and later went missing after duping them.
There have also been instances wherein conmen have managed to dupe the victim without even meeting them. The cyber police station registered a case in the August this year, in which an accused posed as a Scotland-based engineer and duped a Mumbai-based woman by promising to marry her after speaking to her through a matrimonial website.
He promised to marry the victim after ‘coming’ to India, got her to deposit money to his account so that he could ‘end the contract with the company by paying up’, and went missing after the money was transferred.
Deputy commissioner of police and spokesperson for Mumbai police, Nisar Tamboli, said: “In most cases, matrimonial forums carry a lot of information about those who have applied, giving the accused an opportunity to study the victim carefully before approaching them. Those who put up profiles on matrimonial forums have to be careful and verify all details of prospective grooms.”
A relative of a victim duped by the serial groom in the JJ Marg case told HT: “Karkhanis had presented himself very convincingly. He told us that his family was based in Vadodara while he was working in Mumbai. He also got a ‘family friend’ along to make his case appear more genuine. He was so convincing that we did not deem it necessary to find out more details about his Vadodara-based family.”