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    Monday, June 5, 2017

    Lady Natwarlal’ weaves schemes,chats 40 women 0f Rs.100 million

    As many as 40 women are running from pillar to post, frustrated and worried about their money after a woman, known as the ‘Lady Natwarlal’ in crime circles, apparently conned them all of around Rs 100 million , on false promises of quick money.

    Bandra, Byculla and Mira Road police are searching for 36-year-old Parveen Merchant, who is supposed to have conned the women by luring them to invest in her textile and dryfruits business. She has been named after the well-known conman Natwarlal who sold Taj Mahal and the Red Fort.

    According to the police, Merchant approached one of the victims, Byculla resident Summaiya Khan in August 2016. “Both she and I are in the garment business. She befriended me and sweet-talked me into investing in her business. She promised me good returns, which did come initially. But later she started defaulting. I gave her several expensive mobile phones, over 900 gram gold, and Rs 24 lakh in cash. In all she cheated me of Rs 1,24,00,000,” said Summaiya. Not long after that, Merchant vanished without a trace.

    Merchant apparently told Summaiya that she would sell the phones at a higher rate, with a profit of Rs 10,000 which they could share equally.

    Rubi Sayyed, a resident of Bazar Lane in Bandra also came in touch with Merchant in a similar fashion. “Merchant used to stay in one of the societies near my residence. I run a tiffin service and that is how we came in contact with each other,” said Sayyed.

    “I was under the impression that she lives with her 12-year-old son. She proposed that I invest in her business where she would provide me with double returns. I invested Rs 1,50,000 first and got a return of Rs 1,70,000. A month later, I invested around Rs 25 lakh. When I went to visit her after this, I realised that she had vacated the rented house and all her mobile phones were switched off.”

    Police have learnt that, in a similar fashion, Merchant cheated Ayera Khan of Rs 49 lakh; another complainant, Zahida Shaikh gave her around 240 gram gold; Nasreen Mehboob Chaudhari was cheated of Rs 67 lakh; Rumi Mukherjee lost Rs 20 lakh to one of Merchant’s schemes, and several other women.

    “There are three registered FIRs against Merchant which we already know of. After being cheated by the same woman, by the same scheme, we are trying to get our complaints heard at the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police. The total value of our collective losses is up to Rs 10 crores. Police have failed to arrest her so far, even with FIRs registered as early as January 2016,” said Hasan Shaikh, a resident of Bandra, who was cheated of Rs 10 lakh after his aunt introduced him to Merchant.

    “Not only the women who were trapped by Merchant, but also their relatives were deceived into investing in Merchant’s business,” said a police officer.

    Merchant, who also goes with the alias Nazneen, was earlier arrested by Pydhonie police in 2007 when she had cheated around 45 investors from Andheri, Jogeshwari, and Bandra. “We are looking for FIRs that might have been registered against Merchant at our police station in the past,” said senior Police Inspector Avinash Shingte of Byculla police station. The fact that Merchant has kept her mobile phones switched off, and only stayed on rent is proving difficult for the police to locate her. It is also suspected that she might have moved out of the city, having amassed the large amount of money.
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    Item Reviewed: Lady Natwarlal’ weaves schemes,chats 40 women 0f Rs.100 million Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar