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Two Thane traders held for cheating cashew growers


Press Trust of India Thane
Two city traders were arrested from Gujarat for allegedly cheating hundreds of cashew growers from Kolhapur in Maharashtra and adjoining Karnataka to the tune of more than Rs 2 crore, police said on Monday.
The duo, Deepak Bharatbhai Patel alias Amitkumar Asnani and Sumit Kumar Rajesh Asnani alias Mahesh Bhojrarj Gyanchandani, was nabbed over the weekend, said Thane Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar at a press conference.
They cheated the cashew growers through their Thane- based firm, Ashtavinayak Trading Company, which was set up last year, he said.
After establishing the company, they approached cashew growing farmers in Kolhapur district and Belgaum in Karnataka and started buying their product in small quantities, said Phansalkar.
They made prompt payments to the farmers initially to win their trust, he said.
Subsequently, more farmers started selling their produce to the company, the police commissioner said.
However, after sometime the duo stopped making payments to the farmers and closed their company and fled, he said.
A group of cheated farmers registered an offence with the Kapurbawdi police station in Thane.
Four more offences were registered against the duo at police stations in Karveer, Chandgad, Murgud (all in Kolhapur district) and Belgaum, the police said.
A total of 606farmers, including 414 from Kolhapur district, were cheated to the tune of more than Rs 2 crore, they said.
The Thane police Crime Branch launched a probe and traced the duo to Gujarat, from where they were arrested, they said.
The police said they seized 3,343 tins of cashew, Rs 58 lakh, a laptop, fake Aadhaar and PAN besides a car from the two accused.
Cashew valued at Rs 2.20 crore was returned to the victim farmers at the hands of Phansalkar at a function at the Thane Police headquarters here.
Phansalkar the police were finding out if any more farmers were cheated by the duo and whether more people were part of this racket.
The duo was booked under IPC sections related to cheating, criminal conspiracy, forgery and criminal breach of trust, among others, the police added.

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First Published: Jul 29 2019 | 6:15 PM IST

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