The crime branch on Friday arrested a 27-year-old conman who duped at least 20 parents, including a well-known actress and TV anchor, by promising to get their children admissions to high-end schools in the western suburbs.
The case came to light after one of the victims of the scam, Manohar Chitnis, approached the Juhu police in February complaining he had been duped by Mehfuz Ahmed Shaikh.
An officer said that in December, Chitnis had gone to a school in Juhu to secure admission for his son. He met a man outside the school, who gave him a visiting card and told him to call if he wanted to secure the admission.
Chitnis who called the number, was assured by Shaikh, who has studied only up to Class 10 but is fluent in English, that he could secure admission for his son if Chitnis paid Rs1.5 lakh.
When nothing happened even after two months, Chitnis went to the police. Senior inspector Deepak Phatangare of Unit-8, crime branch, said, “Shaikh has duped at least 20 people including a well-known actress.”
Phatangare said he [Shaikh] would distribute pamphlets inviting youngsters to work for him. “He would use these youngsters to contact parents coming to high-end schools,” he said.
Shaikh would assure parents that he could get their children admission to these schools if they paid him the amount he demanded. Once he got the money, he would switch off his mobile phone.