Man trying to acquire pizza franchise in Pune duped of ₹1 crore - Hindustan Times
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Man trying to acquire pizza franchise in Pune duped of 1 crore

Jul 10, 2023 12:13 AM IST

As per the deal, the accused transferred various amounts in the bank account given by the accused via 12 online bank transactions

A 35-year-old director of an engineering company in Pune fell victim to an online fraud, losing a staggering sum of 1 crore. According to Pimpri-Chinchwad police, the victim was duped between June 9, 2023, to July 6, 2023, in the MIDC Bhosari area.

A 35-year-old director of an engineering company in Pune fell victim to an online fraud, losing a staggering sum of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1 crore (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)
A 35-year-old director of an engineering company in Pune fell victim to an online fraud, losing a staggering sum of 1 crore (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

As per the complaint filed by a resident of Indrayani Nagar in Bhosari, he came in contact with accused Deepak Sharma, Nipun Mittal, and Prakash Singh to open franchisee of a multinational pizza restaurant chain in Pune and Mumbai to take advantage of the upcoming Cricket World Cup in India.

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As per the deal, the accused transferred various amounts in the bank account given by the accused via 12 online bank transactions.

On June 21, the victim received a letter of intent outlining the terms and conditions of the contract. He was instructed to transfer an initial processing fee of 2.65 lakh to a designated bank account. Subsequently, he was asked to pay around 6 lakh as charges for a no-objection certificate (NOC) and 7.5 lakh as an initial payment towards purchasing machinery for the franchise outlet. These payments were made in four instalments, with the understanding that the outlet would be located at Pune airport.

Rajendra Nikalje, Senior Police Inspector (SPI) at Bhosari MIDC police station said, “To grab opportunities of the upcoming Cricket World Cup, the accused blindly followed instructions given by the accused and lost huge sum of money.’’

Police officials handling the case revealed that similar cyber fraud incidents involving the same pizza and burger restaurant chains had been reported in recent times. The fraudsters used the brand’s name to deceive people with false promises of franchise opportunities.

An officer from the Bhosari MIDC police station confirmed that a thorough investigation had been initiated into the cell phone numbers, email addresses, and bank accounts utilised by the cyber fraudsters. Efforts are underway to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

An FIR has been registered at MIDC Bhosari police station under IPC sections 419, 420, 34 and sections 66(c), (d) of the Information Technology Act and further investigation is underway.

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