At least 300 taxis in Mumbai have fake permits. The revelation was made by members of a major racket busted by the Agripada police. Three members of the gang have been arrested by the police and more arrests are likely in the case.
The probe revealed the racket provided its victims with a loan to buy a taxi, and also supplied all the necessary documents, including insurance papers and taxi permits, which turned out to be fake. “Only when the victims went to the regional transport office or the insurance company for a permit or insurance renewal, did they learn their taxis did not exist in the RTO’s records and all the documents were fake,” said an officer from the Agripada police station, requesting anonymity.
Those arrested include Ambika Prasad Barai, Rajesh Nadar and Shamim Ansari alias Salim. They were arrested on a complaint filed by one Mohammed Wasim Shaikh, a Byculla resident who runs a garage.
Barai, the kingpin of the racket, had taken more than Rs 3 lakh from Shaikh with a promise to get him a loan for a taxi and all the necessary documents. Later, Shaikh learnt the documents were fake. He approached the Agripada police and Barai and his two associates were arrested.
“Barai admitted his group cheated at least 17 people in the area. They also told the police that similar rackets are operating in the city and at least 300 taxis running on the city’s roads have fake permits,” another officer said.