Published On : Sat, Jun 26th, 2021

Man posing FDA officer cheats chemist, arrested

Nagpur: Bajaj Nagar police have arrested a man, who posed himself as an officer of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and cheated a medical shop owner of Rs 30,000. The accused, Rahul Sarate (27), a native of Mumbai, had used a similar trick to cheat chemists in Mumbai.

Bajaj Nagar police arrested the accused from custody of Colaba cops and brought him to Nagpur. Sarate, a former Merchant Navy employee, had committed at least eight similar offences. According to a police official, Sarate could speak in different voices – even a female voice. He chose his targets carefully, and would accordingly pose either as FDA officer or official from Consumer Forum or even a female customer.

The complainant, Shashank Agrawal, whose medical shop is situated in Dhantoli, told police earlier this month about being duped of Rs 30,000. He said that on May 29, he received a phone call from the accused Sarate, who posed as FDA officer using the fake name Swapnil Bhosle. The accused told Agrawal that a customer named Surekha Patil (again a fake name) had lodged a complaint against the shop owner for selling expired medicines. The accused threatened Agrawal to arrest him and seal his shop. Sometime later, Agrawal received a phone call, this time from Surekha Patil. First she threatened that the FDA will seal his shop. After Agrawal’s frequent requests to take her complaint back, she offered a settlement if Agrawal agreed to deposit Rs 30,000 in a particular bank account. Agrawal deposited the amount but later realised that he had been duped.