Mumbai, March 10: The Mumbai police on Thursday arrested a city-based vegetable vendor for allegedly fleeing with Rs 81.50-lakh cash to Uttar Pradesh, Cops said that the accused ran away with the cash which was collected by at least 16 local vegetable and fruit vendors. An officer said that the vendors had collected the cash as a contingency fund during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, the incident came to light in May 2022 when a case was registered against accused Shivkumar Jaiswal. Police officials said that Jaiswal was absconding since then and kept on changing his locations. "He was finally arrested from the Lat Ghat area in Azamgarh district, Uttar Pradesh," the officer added. Mumbai Shocker: Son Strangulates Mother to Death at Their Home in Virar, Confesses to Crime After Being Arrested.

In his complaint, Pradeep Kumar Vaishya said that in October 2021, Jaiswal and three others approached him. They told him that they were vendors and were facing difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The vendors suggested Vaishya that all of them should come together and create a fund in order to tackle such financial issues.

The fund could be used by any one of them in case of an emergency in their families. "They also told me that in future, we could create a cooperative credit society with the collective fund. There was no compulsion for anyone to contribute a specific amount and so, I started contributing ₹800 daily to the fund," Vaishya's complaint stated.

He told cops that in the fund scheme, he lost a total of Rs 8.5 lakh. The complainant said that since the accused was from their village, they believed him. A total of 16 people filed a complaint against the accused stating that they have been cheated to the tune of Rs 81.50 lakh. Uttar Pradesh: Vegetable Vendor Receives Rs 172 Crore in Bank Account in Ghazipur, Says Unaware of 'Transaction'; Probe Launched by Income Tax Department.

Vaishya said that many people who were also cheated are yet to approach the police. He also said that they learned that the accused had started a hotel back in Uttar Pradesh. The accused has been booked for cheating and forgery.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 10, 2023 04:19 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website