The Bhoiwada police arrested a 40-year-old woman on Wednesday for posing as a junior assistant engineer of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and duping five people of Rs13 lakh on the pretext of offering them clerical jobs with the civic body.
Police said the mastermind behind the scheme, Ashwini Morbale, teamed up with Shivaji Morbale, Pramod Vadere, Vikas Sonkusare and Nitin Desai to dupe people.
“My father worked at a national bank in Borivali, where Vadere met and befriended him. In February 2015, Vadere said he knew a woman who could help me get a job in the BMC. My father pursued the opportunity as my elder brother and I were unemployed,” the complainant told HT.
In November 2015, the complainant was introduced to Morbale at a Dadar eatery.
“She showed me her identity card and assured me that I would get a BMC job. When I told my friends this, even they wanted jobs in the civic body and so they started pursuing the matter,” added More
In December 2015, the complainant and his friends gave Morbale Rs1 lakh each in the presence of Sonkusare. In January last year, the victims paid the accused Rs13 lakh more.
“The accused gave us neither a call letter nor an appointment letter. One of our friends backed out and Morbale returned the Rs3 lakh he had paid. When the rest of us insisted on some kind of acknowledgement letter from the BMC to prove that we were employees, Morbale gave us a letter stating that we had been appointed as clerks,” added the complainant.
After the victims visited BMC headquarters, they discovered that the letters were fake and that Morbale did not work for the civic body. Following this, they asked Morbale to return their money.
In July last year, Morbale called the victims to Parel station on the pretext of returning their money. “Instead, she took us to a secluded spot, where a few men assaulted us. Morbale said she would register a case of molestation against us if we asked her to return our money. So we approached the Bhoiwada police and filed a complaint,” said the complainant.
A case was registered on January 9 under sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (2) (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
Morbale filed an anticipatory bail application in the sessions court. “Her plea was rejected by the sessions court and the high court. Following this, she was remanded in judicial custody,” said an officer from the Boiwada police station.
Police are on the lookout for the rest of the gang.
January 2016 - The Bhoiwada police arrested Ramkrishna Sevak, 32, for cheating Naigaon policemen on the pretext of giving them jobs at Mantralaya, the BMC, and the excise department. He also offered them the post of sales tax officers. The police said he gave the victims appointment letters, which stated that they were deputy sub-inspectors and police sub-inspectors.
November 2014 - The Bhoiwada police arrested Ravindra Pawar and Prakash Gaikwad for duping several unemployed people on the pretext of giving them jobs with the BMC. The two, along with a third unidentified member, had been cheating people since September 2012. The scam came to light when an assistant police security guard posted at F/South ward enquired into a complaint made by one of the victims.