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Neither royal, nor loyal

Thursday, December 07, 2017
By Dev Kotak and Tariq Khan

Fraudulent duo cheat single mother off 21 lakhs, pair absconding

As the popular adage goes, Love is blind and so are the people who are in a relationship when they do not see the pitfalls lurking around as they just blindly get involved in a relationship without even thinking or evaluating the dangers one could possibly face.

Divorced, single parent and love-struck, G. Suman, a resident of Thane's Manpada (name changed) had little idea that she would be used, conned  and taken for a ride, as she was cheated off Rs. 21 lakhs by her lover Jaydeep Gokhale (36), whom she suspects to be a larger part of a conspiracy with a few more conniving members involved, who scam innocent people.

Claiming to be a member of the royal Gokhale family, the Duke of Rajapur, and later even a real estate agent, the accused met Suman, a freelance property consultant who was also employed with a background verification company.  Suman first met Gokhale to enquire about commercial space, that she was helping him with and negotiating on behalf of her friend. She came into contact with him through an ad he followed up for office space. Gokhale began stalking her,  tracking her movements and even kept a tab on her through his men and this behaviour left her scared and shocked.

In a Bollywood-like tale, the 45-year-old fell prey to his feelings and entered into a relationship in 2015, a time when Suman had lost her job, who was also promised that he would marry and settle down with her.

Unemployed and in dire need of money, she even tried selling off her flat. After everything failed, Gokhale took her to Mohammed Salim Khan Colabawala, who claimed to be a trustee of Mamu Bhanja Dargah Trust, saying he was ready to help her.

Salim assured her that the trust would convert black money into white in Baramati and the Dargah would disburse loans to religious trusts, charitable organisations and individuals too. All of this of course after paying the processing 'fee' and then the loan amount would be sanctioned, returnable after a specified time.

The single mother of two had her doubts about the dargah's genuineness. “I was convinced after the pair (Gokhale and Salim) who I suspect of colluding, made me meet two, three clients to prove that this is real,” she said.  

The 43-year-old 'trustee' she finds out has been lying to her throughout with several others being cheated, calling him and Gokhale both liars, who've been friends for over 15 years. She feels that both of them are hand in glove with more members in their gang who trap unsuspecting people.  

In a FIR filed with the local police station in Thane, three others Shirish Iyer, Sanjay Chavan and Pramod Shobha have been named as accomplices.

“I paid Rs.8 lakhs through RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlements) as processing fee and continued to pay the remaining (13 lakhs) amount too despite my loan file being abruptly halted and processing stopped several times. Every time, I would ask them to return my money, Salim would say it's almost done and you will get your loan amount soon. I finally put my foot down after he told me in March this year that file is stopped due to changes in government resolution due to demonetisation,” noted Suman.

Suman herself managed to punch several holes in the duo's unconvincing stories and approached the Shrinagar Police Station and even conducted her investigation in Baramati.

The result being that no such trust exists, having even clarified with and met Sunil Kumar Musale, Personal Assistant of Fomer Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar and a maulvi of the oldest dargah there.  

The police have in their possession taped and recorded conversations as evidence where Salim is heard accepting the money from them through RTGS and cash.

“My brother had raised the loan amount from outside by pledging property, valuables, gold ornaments and jewellery. Since I was in dire need, my brother wanted me to have my own venture. In fact the three of us (Jay, my brother and I) were planning to start a food processing business on Jay's land of 200-250 acres in Rajapur, but this was all a lie,” said the distraught woman.

Suman claims that Gokhale is a bundle of lies, a womaniser who uses drugs and was also disloyal even at the time the couple were dating.

Despite warning letters (the first two times) from the police, Gokhale did not pay much heed, but the third time he was present when they called. Meanwhile Salim remained missing and did not bother to respond to the warning letters, while his number continued to be unreachable.

“The duo are on the run, they are absconding. We have launched a hunt for the pair. They are both wanted and a search is on. Once they are arrested, they will be produced in court and then recovery and interrogation will take place,” said Ashok Saikar, Police Inspector and Investigating Officer in this case.  

The two main missing  have been booked under sections 420 (cheating and dishonesty) and 34 (acts done by several persons with common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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