A 33-year-old man was arrested on Monday for cheating 32 residents of a Mulund-based society by claiming to be an employee of Mahanagar gas and promising to get them a gas connection at cheaper rates.
In the first week of November, Rajesh Chavan approached members of the Om Shrishti housing society in Mulund (West).
“He claimed to be an employee of Mahanagar gas and told the society members that he could get them piped gas connections at cheap rates,” said police sub-inspector Dilip Damunse from Mulund police station.
Chavan asked the society members to write them a cheque of Rs6,000 each in favour of Mahanagar gas. “Thirty-two society members paid Chavan Rs1.92 lakh in total,” said Damunse.
A few weeks later, a building resident received a call from his bank to clarify whether had issued a cheque in favour of ‘Mahanagari gas’, which he denied.
Sensing something amiss, the alert bank employee stopped the processing of 23 cheques drawn in favour of Mahanagari gas, said Damunse. By then, Chavan had already encashed nine cheques.
“After receiving cheques drawn in favour of Mahanagar gas, the accused added an ‘i’ to the word Mahanagar. He deposited the cheques in the account opened in the name of Mahanagari gas,” said MA Gundewadi, assistant commissioner of police (Mulund division).
Of the total 1.92 lakh, Chavan spent Rs54,000 on a bar dancer. Police have not managed to recover this money yet.