Vadodara: A Vadodara Police SOG (Special Operations Group) arrested 6 men, including the son of a former Congress leader for the theft of a luxury car from the house of businessman Amit Bhatnagar, who is arrested currently in jail for alleged financial and bank fraud. The car, an Audi A8 was found abandoned a couple of days ago near Rajpipla after it was stolen by two unknown men posing as Enforcement Directorate officials from the businessman’s bungalow.
Srikant Gandhi, son of former Congress leader Chinam Gandhi and five others were arrested by Vadodara Police SOG on Wednesday evening. On May 5, Prakash Naidu and Sinu Robert reached Amit Bhatnagar’s house in a rickshaw and informed the guard sitting outside the bungalow that they are from the ED and gained entry inside. Bhatnagar’s mother-in-law was present in the house that time, but she let them pick the keys for their Audi from the key-box and drive off with the car. They were well dressed and spoke like law enforcement sleuths, which made the guard and the mother-in-law believe that they are real officers. The conmen drove the car to a pizza outlet near Manjalpur, where Srikant and Sanjay Dabhi were waiting for them.
Dabhi and Gandhi were there to take possession of the car on a mortgage from the other two, and they took a test drive off the car. The conmen offered the car on a mortgage for the sum of Rs 8 to 9 lakhs, but Gandhi convinced them to agree on Rs 2 lakhs. Later Dabhi smelt a rat and fearing that this might be a stolen car, left it at a deserted spot in Rajpipla and handed over the keys to Gandhi, who too later realized that the Audi might be a stolen after police filed a complaint of Bhatnagar’s car of similar make was stolen. He got himself admitted to a private hospital to evade arrest.
The mastermind behind the theft, Sinu Roberts wanted had connived with two of Bhatnagars’ drivers Karsan Rathwa and Nagin Makwana to steal the car and sell it off to Gandhi through Sanjay Dabhi. The drivers were aware of the non-functioning CCTV camera, which stopped working after strong winds in the area had snapped power cables. What helped them further were the back to back raids and investigation going on against the Bhatnagars, and the family members were fooled to believe that the conmen were indeed ED officials who came to take the car for an RTO inspection regarding the case.
Robert paid Rs 200 to Prakash Naidu in helping him steal the car, while both the drivers were promised of Rs 4 lakhs each, who placed the documents of the car inside before the conmen came and drove off with it. The police investigated the complaint and have arrested all the six men for being involved in the theft and sale of the car.