Mumbai Crime Branch Impersonation Leads to Online Scams, Pune Citizens Lose 30 Lakhs

Pune, 8th December 2023: A surge in online scams under the guise of the ‘Mumbai Crime Branch’ has been reported, with citizens falling victim to fraudulent calls claiming drug-related parcels heading abroad in their name. Two separate incidents were registered at Sinhgad Road Police Station and Yerawada Police Station in Pune on the same day, resulting in a total loss of 30 lakhs in online scams.

Ratnadeep Purushottam Brahmankar filed a complaint at Sinhagad Road Police Station after receiving a call from an unknown number posing as Mumbai’s cyber crime branch. The caller claimed to have intercepted a parcel destined for Taiwan in Brahmankar’s name, alleging the discovery of drugs, an expired passport, and an SBI credit card. Fearing legal consequences, Brahmankar provided sensitive account information. Subsequently, he was coerced into withdrawing Rs. 27,98,776, leading to a total loss of 30 lakhs. The case is under investigation, emphasizing the rising threat of cybercrimes.

Abhishek Joyal Thakkar, a resident of Wadgaon Sheri, complained to Yerawada Police Station after being contacted by an impersonator claiming to be Jaideep Rajput from Mumbai’s FedEx Company and Naresh Gupta Banerjee from the Mumbai Crime Branch. The caller sent fake identity cards and documents, alleging a parcel to Thailand in Thakkar’s name. Fearing arrest, Thakkar transferred 3,26,000 rupees on the pretext of obtaining NOC certificates. Yerawada police are actively investigating this online scam.

Inspector (Crime) Jayant Rajurkar of Sinhagad Road Police Station assured that investigations are underway, with a focus on curbing cybercrimes. He highlighted the need for public awareness to prevent such incidents, emphasizing that even educated and high-ranking individuals can fall victim to online fraud.