Surat’s Economic Offence Cell (EOC) wing of the city police has recovered 200 cars worth Rs 4.5 crore. The vehicles were sold by a person who used to hire these vehicles as taxis. A total of 264 cars were stolen till now.
The police department worked to recover all these vehicles in less than a month’s time. Now, they are working to speed up the process and ensure that the rightful owners of the stolen vehicles get them back.
Police arrested the accused identified as Ketul Parmar from Botad on June 7, only two days after a complaint was registered against him. After the arrest, the police interrogated him and launched an investigation to identify people who purchased these stolen vehicles and recovered them.
Ketul Parmar did not sell the cars in a single area. To avoid detection of the scam, he sold the vehicles in different districts of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The accused quoted less than half of the actual price of the vehicle, which is why many bought from him.
The police have returned as many as 22 cars till now to their owners. More than 60 more applications are pending in court. As soon as the court gives a green signal, more cars will be sent to the original owners.
How did the cops unearth the scam?
Amar Patel, a resident of Bhathena had lodged a complaint on June 5 at the detection of crime branch (DCB). Two days later, the investigation was handed over to EOC.
The fraud was happening since September 2020 as per the complaint. The cops booked the accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including breach of trust, cheating and forging documents.
Ketul Parmar and Amar Patel were in the cab service field. Both were in regular touch and Parmar had told Patel that he got a contract to supply rental cars to a solar company. Believing him, Patel gave him a car for 10 days trial period. Parmar paid the rent of the car too.
After a successful transaction, Patel gave more cars to Parmar and many friends of Patel, who are in the same line of business also have their cars to the accused. To trap the victims, Parmar initially offered a high rent of Rs 20,000 per month on each car during the time of pandemic and lockdown where the car rental business slowed down. That is why many people got trapped in this scam.
The police are still looking for other accused like Gopal Jograna, Kalu Bhuva Bharwad, Viram Gagji, Bhola Sindhav, Vijay Chisla, Amit Satiya, Firoz alias Hukum Shaikh, Ishwar Chosla Malaikiya, and Sanjay Bharvad. The accused took the original RTO registration certificate and insurance papers from the owners to sell the vehicles.