The trio arrested by the anti-extortion cell (AEC) of the Mumbai crime branch for cheating a 55-year-old woman doctor, have allegedly duped at least four or five others in the city.
Crime branch officers said they were also probing on this front and from the preliminary questioning it was found that the same modus of doubling the money was used by them and those cheated were duped of at least Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 2 lakh.
The AEC team led by inspectors Nitin Alaknure and Vinayak Mer, have arrested Shyam Srivastav, Pravin Srivastav and Prem Dubey for cheating Dr Usha Mehta to the tune of Rs. 27.50 lakh, by promising to double her money and threatening to kill her at her Dadar clinic.
The fourth accused Dr Omprakash Singh who introduced the complainant to the trio is yet to be arrested. Officials said Pravin and Shyam have a few cases against them at Varanasi and the trio apparently operated as a gang to dupe people.
The accused were produced in court on Thursday and were remanded in police custody till April 20. Officers said Mehta, in her complaint to the Matunga police station, said she was introduced to Pavan Singh by Dr Omprakash, who told her that Singh could double her money.
In a demonstration, Mehta was asked to give Rs. 25,000. When Mehta paid Rs. 25,000, she was called to a hotel in Lonavala. In one of the rooms, where Mehta met the three accused, one of the person who introduced himself as Sirji, took a Rs. 1,000 note and put it in a piece of cloth and performed some ‘trick’. He then removed three notes of Rs. 1,000 each from the cloth.
After this the accused told her, she would have to invest a minimum of Rs. 25 lakh as the machinery for doubling the money had to be brought from Nepal. The accused took money from Mehta over the next few months. After some time the accused started to avoid her calls, which is when she approached the police.