Mahesh Vala (in the middle) in police custody
Vadodara: Business losses during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown may have led Shahid Navdekar, the mastermind of the black dollar scam, to repay his home loan.
Investigators said that Shahid used the siphoned money to repay his loan, which had been due for many months, while another defendant, Bharat Gida, invested the money in land.
The investigation also found that Navdekar learned the trick of cheating on people of Nigerian gangs by watching their videos online.
Criminal Investigation officials said Shahid, who was arrested three days ago in a Rs 30 lakh fraud case, had watched videos of Nigerian gang thugs on YouTube for months.
âDuring interrogation, Shahid, a resident of Mumbai, said he had seen many videos of the black dollar fraud carried out by Nigerian gangs in different parts of the country. He thought it was a good way to make money quickly, so he decided to start a gang, âsaid a criminal investigation officer.
Shahid, who was in the used tire business, had come into contact with Gida, a resident of Amreli, during his business visits to Gujarat.
Shahid and Gida, who have recorded cases of assault, kidnapping and fraud against him, then planned to deceive people and they included two other people, Mahesh Vala and Imran Bhurani. Maulik Prajapati, a businessman from Ahmedabad, came into contact with Gida last year.
Gida convinced Prajapati to invest money in black dollars and make quick profits.
Gida, a former leader of the National Students Union of India (NSUI), Amreli then introduced Prajapati Shahid, who posed as the customs inspector AK Malhotra. Shahid told Prajapati that he owns hundreds of rupees worth of black dollars and that the latter could make huge profits by selling them on the open market.
Criminal Investigation officials said Shahid and his gang took Rs 30 lakh from Prajapati but handed him papers dipped in black at a hotel in the city
When Prajapati found that he had been betrayed, he turned to the criminal investigation department, who started investigations into the case.
The cops arrested all four of them within days, suggesting the gang must have cheated on many more people.
âOur team went to Amreli to find out more details about the defendants. We will also be visiting Mumbai to learn more about Shahid who has a luxury car in his name, âcriminal police officials added.