Sixth accused held in fake e-pass racket in MumbaiUpdated: Aug 05, 2020 02:26 IST
The crime branch on Tuesday arrested 31-year-old Abhijit Pawar, a contractual worker at the Thane collector’s office in connection with the fake e-pass racket. Earlier, the crime branch had arrested five people for providing citizens with fake e-passes and medical certificates for ₹3,000 to travel outside the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) during the lockdown .
Pawar, along with Samir Chaudhary, his colleague from the collector’s office, Abdul Karim Mohammad Shaikh; Samir Shamsuddin Shaikh, Noor Mohammad Abdul Gani Shaikh and Vinay Mohan Pate have sold 400-500 fake police e-passes to citizens.
Pawar’s arrest comes days after the officers from crime branch’s unit 3 busted the racket on July 25 and arrested Shaikh, Samir, Noor and Pate.
The police received a tip-off about a gang which had been duping citizens who wanted to travel to other districts in the state from MMR. During inquiry, the police discovered that the accused were operating from Malvan and would send the e-passes from there to citizens on WhatsApp or email. The numbers of their mobile phones were registered on locations in Delhi.
An officer then approached Shaikh posing as a customer and asked for an e-pass to travel to Satara from Mumbai. After receiving the pass, a police team went to Malvan and arrested Shaikh, Samir and Noor, while Pate was arrested from his home in Vasai. The police also seized a laptop, mobile phones and several fake passes from the accused.
During the inquiry, the police discovered that Chaudhary was the head of the information technology department of the collector’s office (rural wing), from where the e-passes are issued to citizens by authorities. “He knew the login details of the system and shared it with Pawar, who issued the passes to citizens with the help of other four accused,” said police inspector Nitin Patil of crime branch unit 3.
On July 29, the police arrested Chaudhary and based on his statement, they arrested Pawar .