Mumbai News

‘Mantralaya’ job scam in Mumbai: Hopefuls lose Rs 74 lakh – Times of India

MUMBAI: Three persons, including a peon in the Mantralaya, have been arrested for allegedly impersonating a joint secretary and luring young people by promising them jobs in the state secretariat. They allegedly took anywhere between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 9 lakh from each candidate, held fake interviews inside Mantralaya, issued fake appointment letters and duped more than a dozen people of Rs 74 lakh.
The accused arrested by unit 6 of the crime branch on Tuesday have been identified as Mantralaya peon Sachin Dolas and two liasoning agents – Mahadev Shirwale and Nitin Sathe. They have been booked under the IPC sections for cheating, forgery, breach of trust and 120 B of criminal conspiracy. Police have frozen their bank accounts as they mostly accepted money through cheques. Their mobile phones and some fake appointment letters have also been seized. Police are looking for Mahendra Sakpal, a Chembur resident who is on the run.
Though there are more than 10 jobseekers who have been cheated, the complaint was filed by Sagar Jadhav, a resident of Malad who alleged that he met Sakpal through his father’s friend. Sakpal said he was very close to a few Mantralaya officials, particularly one Nitin Kundalik Sathe, who helped him get jobs. “The way Sakpal described Sathe, all blindly believed him. Sakpal told me if I pay him Rs 6 lakh, I can get a ‘good permanent job’ in Mantralaya. In order to win our confidence, Sakpal asked us to pay him by cheque,” said complainant Sagar Jadhav.
In 2021, Sagar said he and his two cousins -Akash and Priyanka – paid him a total Rs 9 lakh. In February 2022, Sakpal said that the appointments had been made done and the trio need to undergo a medical test. As months passed Sakpal kept on assuring them that due to Covid the appointment process is delayed until in August when he told that half of the work has been done and now they will hold interviews and thereafter issue appointment letters. Sakpal demanded another Rs 6 lakh. One day Sakpal and his accomplices called the trio to Mantralaya for an ‘interview’. They were given a temporary ID using which they entered inside mantralaya.
“Nitin Sathe impersonated the joint secretary. He took them to one of the rooms and ‘interviewed’ them and also ‘scrutinised’ the documents in support of their qualifications. After a few days whenever complainant used to call Sakpal, he would tell him that due to the Maratha reservation issue and Covid-19 pandemic, the administration’s work was delayed,” said the officer.
In July again Dolas called up trio to Mantralaya and made them to sit in one room and fulfil certain ‘formalities’. The trio ended up paying Rs 20 lakh. They later learnt that there was no secretary by the name Sathe.