Coal company director, ad agency owner booked for cheating
Mumbai The foreign regional registration office (FRRO) of the Mumbai police has lodged a cheating and forgery case against a coal company director and an advertisement agency owner for allegedly misusing the name and position of honorary consul of San Marino in India, without authorisation by the European country and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Police officials said one of the accused - Vatsal Agarwal, a resident of Versova, is a director of Simplex Coke and Refractory Pvt. Ltd., Andheri, which supplies coal to small industries, whereas the other - Avinash Sharma, a Goregaon resident, runs an advertisement agency, ‘Digitally Yours’ that has an office in Malad (West) and the two have business relations.
According to the police, on February 22, 2022, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) wrote to the Maharashtra government seeking inquiry of a person Vatsal Agarwal, who claimed that he had been appointed/recommended as honorary consul of San Marino in India. MEA informed the state government that when they checked details of his appointment with the Indian consulate in Rome, they were told that no such person has been appointed/recommended for the post.
State government on April 1 wrote to the Mumbai police commissioner, who ordered Special Branch-2 to enquire into the matter. On the orders of DCP Special Branch-2 and FRRO Niyati Thaker-Dave, police inspector Ravindra Katkar and Rohini Deshmukh conducted an inquiry after which the FRRO lodged a complaint with the Bangur Nagar police station against Agarwal and Sharma on Friday.
As per the FIR, Sharma offered Agarwal and his father that he could get (Vatsal) Agarwal appointed as honorary consul of San Marino in India for a consideration of ₹7 lakh.
Agarwal, who has toured many countries, was convinced and paid ₹2 lakh advance to Sharma, who on February 10, 2022, gave them a recommendation letter on the forged letterhead and using the forged signature of the Ambassador De San Marino. After this Agarwal paid the rest of the ₹5 lakh to Sharma, states the FIR (of which HT has a copy).
Sharma allegedly also published an advertisement declaring Agarwal’s appointment as honorary consul of San Marino.
Agarwal later wrote to the MEA requesting them to upload his name as honorary consul of San Marino in India on the MEA’s website. MEA responded to his request saying that no such post exists in the first place and asked him to refrain from publishing any material regarding the same without the permission of the government of India.
However, despite this, Agarwal kept using the name and position of honorary consul of San Marino in India and posted information on various online mediums for publicity, the complainant police officer stated.
“Probe also revealed that Sharma offers his clients a rate card for the posts of honorary consul of countries like Moldova, Senegal, Albania, etc. against the fee ranging from ₹10 lakh to ₹18.50 lakh,” said a police officer privy to the enquiry.
Agarwal said that he is not aware of any case registered against him and claimed that it was the PR agency which had made the mistake and not him. He claimed that when they discovered the ‘mistake’, they published clarification in the newspapers. Sharma too said that he is not aware of the FIR and claimed that he just did the PR work for Agarwal and nothing else.
Come October, commuters headed to Pune from Thane and Borivali will have a low-cost, yet comfortable transport facility. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation is planning to replace the iconic Shivneri buses on this route with electric Shivai buses. However, the Shivneri buses will continue to ply between Dadar and Pune. Currently, Shivneri buses charge ₹450 per passenger.
Mumbai: Blame it on the long weekend and travel plans or students refusing to alter their college preference, just 20% first-year junior college (FYJC) aspirants from the second merit list have confirmed admissions until Monday. College principals have attributed this low admission acceptance to students travelling during the long weekend. The second merit list was released by the office of the deputy director of education (DyDE) on August 12, where 69,691 students were allotted seats.
Mumbai: A 33-year-old man allegedly killed hMukhtar'swife by strangulating her over a trivial issue in wee hours on Sunday and fled from the house. JJ Marg police have launched a manhunt for him. According to the police, the deceased was identified as Manzila Shaikh, 30, who was staying in Imamwada area along JJ Marg along with her husband, Sukhchand Shaikh alias Mukhtar, 33.
A total of 1,436 trees in the Dahanu forest range, in Palghar district, are proposed to be felled to make way for the upcoming Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train. The 1,400 odd trees are located on 22 hectares of forest land across three villages (Betegaon, Valva and Shigaon) in Palghar. The proposal was considered by the REC on August 10.
Police have registered a case after a 34-year-old typist from Malad East alleged that he received calls from Nepal and Bangladesh, threatening him to post his morphed photographs on social media if he failed to repay the loan money which he had not even applied for. The man also claimed that his morphed photos had been sent to the people on his phone contact list from two numbers - 880-1815309879 (Bangladesh) and 977-9880176174 (Nepal).