Vegetable vendor flees with 81.50 lakh collected as contingency fund

Police have booked a vegetable vendor in Khar for allegedly fleeing with 81
Vendors work at a wholesale vegetable and fruit market in Mumbai Reuters File Photo
Vendors work at a wholesale vegetable and fruit market in Mumbai Reuters File Photo
Published on May 25, 2022 08:29 PM IST
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ByVinay Dalvi, Mumbai

Police have booked a vegetable vendor in Khar for allegedly fleeing with 81.50 lakh collected by some local vegetable and fruit vendors as contingency fund.

“We have registered a case against the vendor, Shivkumar Jaiswal, under sections 406 [punishment for criminal breach of trust] and 420 [cheating] of the Indian Penal Code and are searching for him,” Mohan Mane, senior inspector of Khar police station, said.

In view of the uncertainties caused by Covid-19, some fruit and vegetable vendors in Khar had decided to create a contingency fund. Jaiswal, who used to keep the money contributed to the fund with him, made away with the entire collection of 81.50 lakh, police officials said.

The case was registered based on a complaint filed by one Pradeep Kumar Vaishya, a resident of Khar Danda. According to Vaishya, in October 2021, he was approached by Jaiswal and three others who told him that they were small vendors and the pandemic had showed them difficult days and therefore, to tackle such financial uncertainties, they should come together and create a fund which could be availed of by any one of them in case of emergency.

“They also told me that in future we could even create a society. There was no compulsion for anyone to contribute a specific amount and so, I started contributing 800 daily to the fund,” Vaishya said in his complaint, adding he had lost 8.5 lakh.

“As he was from our village in Uttar Pradesh we believed in him. So far, 15 people have lodged police complaints that they have been cheated to the tune of 81.50 lakh. But there are several others who are yet to approach the police. We have learnt that Jaiswal has started a hotel in UP and now plans to flee to Bangkok,” the complaint said.

According to the police, several small vendors have paid Jaiswal between 8 and 10 lakh each.

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