The Malvani police on Sunday arrested an aviation school student and his wife for cheating at least three women of around Rs 5 lakh for funding the examination fees of his pilot training course in South Africa.
Viren and Nupur Asthana, posed as siblings and targeted prospective brides by posting an attractive profile of Viren on a popular matrimonial website.
In their late 20s, the Asthanas have been married for four years and have a three-year-old son. They hail from Kanpur.
The police said Viren is pursuing his commercial pilot training from South Africa and needed Rs 4 lakh to complete two of his remaining subjects.
The case came to light when the principal of a Jalgaon-based school approached the police claiming that his daughter, who is pursuing MBA, attracted by Viren’s profile contacted him last month. He met them at a hotel in Pune and kept the wedding in November. Two ceremonies were also held and the accused allegedly took around Rs 3 lakh from the victim’s family as ‘ritual money’.
Police records show that a few days back, Nupur called up the complainant and said Viren met with an accident in Singapore and she needs Rs 7 lakh from them.
“The complainant was hesitant in giving the money, but later agreed to give some amount,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Sanjay Banerjee. To collect the money, Nupur called him at a resort in Malvani on Sunday but failed to turn up.
Getting suspicious the complainant then approached the police. Nupur again called him and asked to meet at Royal Palms hotel in Goregaon. The police laid a trap and arrested the duo from the hotel.
Viren’s father is a retired aeronautics engineer at Hindustan Aeronautic Engineering, while Nupur’s father is an assistant general manager with Surya Group.
(Victims’ names have been withheld to protect their identities)