They allegedly duped an Andheri businessman of Rs 1.25 crore by promising to build a tug boat and a barge vessel during the lockdown. They assured them of Rs 15 lakh every month after helping him with customers for renting out the vessels.
The case was registered in October 2020 with the Andheri police station after the businessman Sushant Shelatkar (39), who is into shipping logistics business, learnt that the accused—Raghini Khandelwal, 52 (mother) and daughter Mansi (22)—has duped several high profile people, including a politician, from Mumbai and Thane after showing the same hull.
On learning about the first information report (FIR) going to get registered at Andheri police station and other police stations in Mumbai and Thane, Mansi fled to the UK in December 2020 before she flew to Dubai and landed in Mumbai on January 1.
“The mother-daughter duo has duped my husband. Several people have been duped over Rs 14 crore after the duo sold the same hull to multiple people fraudulently. Mansi had tried to abscond and leave the country. She has been booked by the Sahar police (FIR No. 03/2021) for breaking the BMC quarantine rules after a complaint was made to the BMC Commissioner Iqbal Chahal,” Sushant’s wife lawyer Padma told TOI.
In the complaint, Sushant said, “I was searching for a tug boat and barge after I applied for the registration of my company Drone Marine Services Pvt Ltd. In June 2018, I inquired on an online trading website about the manufacturers of tug boats and barges. Two days later I got a call from one Amir Khan and told that Khandelwal who is known to him is into the business of making vessels in Kalyan.”
Khan and Khandelwal called Sushant on June 15 during the lockdown and met him and told him that they can construct the vessel and even showed the hull.
Accordingly, Sushant paid money as per the contract. “In October, Sushant realised that he is being duped on learning that the same hull has been sold to multiple people. Even, the victim found out that that the HMB Sarkar tug boat that the accused was supposed to sell to Sushant was registered in their name fraudulently after bribing some official at the Maharashtra Maritime Board (MMB) and has been rented out to the big corporate company to operate at Ulve,” said an Andheri police officer.
Explaining the modus operandi, the officer said, “The duo duped people on the pretext of investment into the share in the shipyard they own and can a monthly Rs15 lakhs income claiming that they charter the vessels to companies like TATA projects and Reliance on a false pretext. They collect money on the pretext of manufacture of heavy infrastructure vessels by displaying old hull/ debris lying at the shipyard and they either don’t build the vessels after receipt of money.”
Padma said the Andheri police took action after they met the Home Minister Anil Deshmukh who instructed the Zonal DCP Mahesh Reddy to act on it.
“Apart from this complaint to Hon’ble Home Minister and separate complaints to TATA Projects India, MMB has been made and soon action is expected,” she said.
Reportedly, Mansi and Raghini had also threatened Sushant and one Ravi Jaising who has invested in accused share was threatened with dire consequences.
Jaising has approached the Khar police with the same complaint in 2019 but they did not act on it saying it a civil matter.
Businessman Jaising from Khar told TOI, “My family business has invested (Rs70 lakh) after an agreement was signed in 2018 for 34% share in the shipyard that the accused claimed to own but was never paid the monthly returns. The duo did not return my wife’s Mercedes car that they borrowed for a few days. Later they sent goons to my office and threatened me with dire consequences. I have approached the Khar police in 2019 but they did not act on my complaint and told that it’s a civil matter.”