Ahmedabad: In a storyline that would give Bollywood scriptwriters a run for their money, a young couple decided to make moolah the ‘film-ishtyle’. However, much to their horror, real cops ultimately caught up with their fraud trail and cut short their escapade.
Meet Ashwin aka Sahil Thakkar, 27, a resident of Gokul garden in Thakur complex in Kandivali, Mumbai, and owner of a small hotel in Panchgani, Maharashtra, and his girlfriend Zarin aka Nidhi Meman, 27, who claims to be a freelance photographer. To make some extra bucks, both opened a visa consultancy office near Shivranjani in February 2012.
To lure aspirants, they gave an advertisement in newspapers, and promised work permit visa to Europe and New Zealand. During their visits to Ahmedabad in that period, the duo used to stay in Courtyard Marriott hotel in Satellite. As per the complaints received by Satellite police during March, the couple cheated 11 aspirants and vanished with Rs75 lakh collected as processing fees for visa.
According to Satellite police, Meman also claimed she left her home a decade ago and never contacted her parents since then. However, their tale of fraud doesn’t end here. After duping people in Ahmedabad, the duo duped jewelers in Pune and Rajasthan. They would cheat jewelers by purchasing ornaments on cash to win their confidence and then vanish after making a huge purchase on credit. Eight jewelers were thus duped. After their arrest by Pune police, cops learnt that the duo had duped several jewelers in Navsari, Rajasthan, and other parts of Maharashtra too. Cops also found out that the duo had suffered huge losses in bullion trade.
Both of them were handed over to the Satellite police on Saturday. Since a case was already registered in Ahmedabad against them, Satellite police brought them to city for further investigation.