Mahanagar Gas Limited (MGL) officials have approached the police alleging that unidentified people, using the name of the company, took money from several people on a promise to award them gas station concessions of compressed natural gas (CNG). The fraudsters had even opened a website, they said.
The gas distribution company filed a complaint after its Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) headquarters received questions from people about the “letters of intent” they allegedly received for concessionaires and had even paid money for registration fees for endorsements and No Objection Certificates (NOCs).
A resident of Navi Mumbai who wanted to start a CNG station on the Ahmednagar highway was tricked ₹4.25 million.
“After filling in the details on their website, I started getting calls. At first they told me that my application was accepted. I paid an application fee of ₹50,000 and later transferred an additional sum of ₹2.75 lakh to get approval from union petroleum ministry. But they started demanding another ₹5 lakh for getting three NOCs. Since the “executives” didn’t want to meet in person, I was skeptical about the whole deal. When I checked the bank account to which I had transferred money, it turned out that it was in the name of a certain Vicky Kumar. So, I suspected foul play and approached the BKC office of Mahanagar Gas,” the 50-year-old, who did not wish to be named, told HT on Friday.
Sadguru Pawar, who works with a private company, always wanted to have his own CNG service station in Solapur.
“After registering on the website, I received a call from someone who told me that he was a sales manager at MGL and asked me to fill in the details online. Later, I was informed that my form was accepted and that I had to register at the dealership by paying ₹50,000. They even sent me a ‘letter of intent’,” he said.
Pawar, however, refused to pay the fraudsters after being warned of the authenticity of the “letter of intent”. “As I knew some people in the industry, I sent the letter to those who expressed doubts about it. When I went to the head office [of MGL] I realized they were scammers.
Prasad Mhatre, deputy director of security at Mahangar Gas, said: “When people started to be suspicious of the transactions, they contacted us. After reviewing the documents, we filed a complaint.
The police registered a case of cheating, impersonation and common intent under the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Information Technology Act 2000.
“The defendants fabricated false documents and misused the Mahanagar Gas logo,” said Vishram Abhyankar, senior police inspector at BKC police station.