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Busted! Mumbai gang that ‘helped’ car owners part with their money on the Western Express Highway

Two held for getting people to stop cars for a non-existent defect, charging them to fix it

mumbai Updated: Oct 28, 2017 12:18 IST
Manish K Pathak
Manish K Pathak
Hindustan Times
thak thak,Western Express Highway,Vakola

On the Western Express Highway (WEH), you need to think twice if a biker pulls up beside you and says that smoke is coming out of your car exhaust or there is some other defect. Be even more wary if an auto rickshaw pulls up too and its driver offers help.

Recently, a 35-year-old man was allegedly cheated of Rs10,200 by two men after they conned him into thinking something was wrong with his car and then appearing to fix the problem. Similarly, the gang cheated a bank official of the same amount. The Vakola police have arrested two people and are on the lookout for three more.

According to the police, on October 13, Rizwan Ayub Khan was travelling in his Maruti car on the WEH with his family when 41-year-old Rehman Azamat Ali Shaikh, who was on a bike, said there was a lot of smoke coming out of the exhaust. Rizwan stopped near Vakola junction.

As soon as Rizwan got off his car, 27-year-old Mohammed Zahir Noor Mohammed Shaikh, who was in an autorickshaw, stopped and asked Rizwan what had happened. Mohammed said he was a mechanic and offered Rizwan help, according to the police. “The accused pulled out a wire from the bonnet, said there were sparks coming from inside the engine and that it would be dangerous to drive,” said a senior inspector from Vakola police, which have arrested both Rehman and Mohammed, both residents of Shivaji Nagar, Govandi.

According to the police, after convincing Rizwan that he could fix the car, Mohammed took Rs10,200 from him. Mohammed then joined the wire he had pulled out and said he had fixed the problem. Rizwan even thanked Mohammed for his timely help, only to later realise that no part had been repaired.

Similarly,the gang cheated a senior bank official of the same amount while he was travelling on the WEH near Agripada junction in Santacruz (East). The victim then approached the Vakola police and a case was registered on October 14.

According to the police, the two arrested men confessed said they had cheated a person in Kalina too. Police said the gang was likely to have cheated several people. “Three more are wanted. I advise people who are travelling with their family or alone in an expensive car on the WEH to be careful,” said Baba Sadhunke, police inspector.

First Published: Oct 27, 2017 22:43 IST