Mumbai: The MHB Nagar Police Station here has busted a fake Navratri programme ticket scam worth over Rs 30 lakh ostensibly inspired by a television show, and arrested four persons from Mumbai and Virar, an official said here on Monday.
The matter came to light after a Borivali businessman Neerav G. Mehta lodged a complaint alleging that some unknown persons had cheated the organisers of Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Sunil Rane’s ‘Rangratri Dandiya with Kinjal Dave’ and the ‘Durgavedi Navaratri Utsav Samiti.
Given the sensitive matter, MHB Police Station Senior Inspector of Police Sudhir Kudalkar set up a special probe squad of Sachin Shinde, Deepak Hinde, Mangesh Kirpekar, Mukesh Kharat, Pradeep Ghodke, Anant Shirsat, and Rupali Daingade.
Their investigations revealed that a gang led by a web designer had allegedly duped over 1,000 people by selling them fake ‘season passes’ worth Rs 3,000 each for the above Navratri shows.
The team got cracking and arrested four accused, zeroing in on the mastermind — Karan A. Shah, 29, a web-designer based in Virar town of Palghar, who said that he was inspired by a tele-serial ‘Farzi’ for this crime.
The police also swooped on his three other associates Darshan P. Gohil, 24; Paresh S. Nevrekar, 35; and Kavish B. Patil, from different places in suburban north-west Mumbai.
Senior PI Kudalkar said that the police have seized 1,000 fake passes from the accused, 1,000 hologram stickers worth Rs 10,000, laptop, printers and other equipment, all totally valued at Rs 35.10 lakh.
Using tech-intel, the team also verified the involvement of the accused foursome, which was confirmed by around two dozen witnesses who had been duped in the scam.
The police teams are also on the lookout for at least two other associates on the run, whose full details are not available, and further probe is underway.