The group operated a ‘Police Family Welfare Committee’ and duped people by selling membership cards on the pretext that flashing the card could help them save toll charges and a penalty in case of a traffic violation
A gang of four people was arrested for operating a bogus trust and issuing fake membership cards to their victims. The accused, arrested by the Kurla police, have been identified as masterminds Tabrez Shaikh (32) and Abdul Khatri (34), and their accomplices Ejaz Butt (39) and Imtiaz Panlekar (36).
The group had floated a trust called ‘Police Family Welfare Committee’, telling people they could evade toll charges and traffic fines if they possessed its membership. The incident came to light on February 5, after a member showed his card to an on-duty traffic constable to avoid paying a penalty.
The alert cop informed the police control room about the fake card. Based on this information, Kurla cops reached the spot and questioned the card holder. They then learnt that the man had purchased the card from a photocopy shop owned by Butt and Panlekar.
Cops swung into action and raided the shop located at Kurla market, and arrested the duo for selling fake membership cards. Inspector Sarjeerao Jagdale, from Kurla police station, said, “Butt and Panlekar printed these membership cards for the trust.
They alleged that Shaikh always maintained that the trust was registered under the Indian Trust Act and had asked them to print the cards. Investigation revealed that the trust was bogus and Shaikh and Khatri have been duping people by selling them fake ID cards.”
While Shaikh was nabbed last week from Uran, cops picked up Khatri from Kurla on Saturday. He had been on the run ever since Butt and Panlekar’s arrest. Jagdale said, “Though we seized over 100 membership cards from their possession, they seem to have distributed several cards already. They have been duping people on the pretext that card holders would no longer be required to pay toll charges.
They even claimed trust members could get away without paying fines for violating traffic norms. They fooled people into believing them by posing with a few local leaders.”
Police said the accused charged a minimum of R200 for every card, and may have duped over 200 people. All four have been booked under Section 171 (wearing garb or carrying token used by public servant with fraudulent intent) and other relevant sections of the IPC.