A share-an-autorickshaw ride cost cloth merchant Jatin Rambhuja, 34, much more than the nominal fare, after he was looted of Rs 1.25 lakh by the autorickshaw driver and three of his accomplices who posed as passengers. The Kurla police have arrested the four accused and recovered Rs 80,000 from them.
On December 2, Rambhuja left from his Chembur home with Rs1.94 lakh in cash. In his
statement to the police, Rambhuja said, “I made a payment of Rs 59,000 to a client at Kurla (West). I was then headed to Santacruz and had Rs 1,25,000 in cash kept in my bag.
He added, “I was waiting for a BEST bus near the Kurla station. I was waiting for some time at the station when an auto driver who already had two fares in the vehicle approached me asking me if I wanted to go to Santacruz and split the fare with the others. As I had been waiting for a long time for a bus, I agreed and got into the rickshaw.”
Senior police inspector of Kurla police station V Bagwe said, “Mohammad Shabbir Shaikh, 28, took the rickshaw some distance ahead where another accused posing as a passenger got into the rickshaw. He sat in the lap of one the passengers already present. Rambhuja, who had been squeezed in, did not realise when the accused opened his bag and removed the packet containing the cash. Only when he reached Santacruz did he realise that the cash was missing.”
Rambhuja approached the Kurla police where a case was registered.
Based on a tip-off, the police managed to arrest Shaikh along with the other three accused identified as Sarfaraz Ansari, 28, Razik Ansari, 22, and Mehmood Ansari, 24. Bagwe said, “We arrested the four accused on December 9 and they will remain in our custody till December 14. So far, we have managed to recover Rs 80,000 from the accused.”