Further investigations are underway,” said police sub-inspector Suhel Pathan.
Mumbai: The Thane (rural) police have arrested the operator of a fly-by-night travel agency in Mira Road on charges of duping around 15 people on the pretext of sending them for Haj and Umrah.
According to the police the arrested accused identified as Mudassir Qureshi (32) operates a travel agency from Pooja Nagar area of Mira Road along with his father-Ashfaque and brother Wasim, who have been named as his accomplices in the crime.
The trio cheated the aspiring Haj pilgrims collectively to the tune of Rs 35 lakh. As the accused failed to make arrangements for the holy trip despite collecting money, passports and other documents, the aspiring pilgrims led by a 63-year-old retired ONGC personnel approached the Naya Nagar police in Mira Road and filed a complaint.
“We have registered a case of cheating under the relevant sections of the IPC against the accused and arrested Mudassir who was remanded to a day’s police custody after he was produced before the district sessions court, Thane on Wednesday. Further investigations are underway,” said police sub-inspector Suhel Pathan.
The victims were ready to set out on the pilgrimage, and were waiting for their travel details, when the agents became unreachable. More complaints are likely to pour in against the tour operators, sources said. Meanwhile, around 70 pilgrims from Bengaluru who were duped of more than `1.58 crore are running from pillar-to-post to get an first information report (FIR) registered against the same Mira Road-based tour operator who allegedly committed the fraud using a similar modus operandi.
It has been alleged that the name of the travel agency fared in the list of licensed entities, which had been authorised by the government authorities to conduct the holy pilgrimage tours.