A 55-year-old ‘social worker’, claiming to have contacts with chief minister and deputy chief minister, was arrested for allegedly cheating a Colaba resident.
The Cuffe Parade officials arrested Preety Thakkar who stayed with her husband — a retired bank manager — at Shivalaya bungalow in Gorai in Borivli (West).
Odil Fernandes (60), a resident of Usha Sadan near Colaba post office, lodged a complaint last week stating that Thakkar cheated her physically challenged son, Trevor Fernandes (46), by promising to get his defunct booth reopened using her contacts in Mantralaya, the police said.
However, investigations revealed that Thakkar had cheated several others in Dombivli, Kandivli, Kalamboli, Pune, Worli, Malad and Satara.
“Trevor ran a telephone booth at Churchgate station. He was forced to shut it down six months ago after the rail authorities moved it to another location and the business dipped,” said police sub-inspector Sunil Vipat of the Cuffe Parade police station.
Thakkar, who frequently used his booth, offered help by using her contacts.
“Thakkar claimed that she knew senior railway officials and assured of the work being done provided they paid her some money to which Trevor agreed.
“Between August 25-31, Trevor paid Rs 4.25 lakh outside a bank at GD Somani Marg,” Vipat added.
However, later Thakkar started avoiding the calls from Fernandes’ family.
Last week, when Thakkar visited Fernandes’ house to take more money to be used ‘to convince the senior officials’, the police laid a trap and arrested her.
A case of cheating has been registered against Thakkar.
“We are trying to recover the money. Though she stays at a bungalow, we did not find any cash or valuables,” said Vipat.