Mumbai: Mumbai Police have busted a racket of fake passes used at toll stations and pay-and-park places and arrested two persons who allegedly sold them to the drivers working with tourism vehicles.
Fake passes with a face value of Rs 27.83 lakh were also seized, police said.
The two accused - Jagdambaprasad Mishra (40), a contractor dealing in pay&park at civic body places, and Somnath Mazi (26), who printed these passes - were arrested yesterday, Joint Police Commissioner (Crime) Himanshu Roy said.
The duo was produced before a local court which remanded them to police custody till December 18, he added.
Acting on a tip-off that Bandra Worli Sea Link toll station fake passes would be available near Taj Hotel at Colaba in south Mumbai, a police officer, posing as a tourist vehicle driver, managed to get the pass.
Then investigation was conducted to reach the prime accused involved in providing such passes, police said.
During the probe, Mishra (40), a contractor who was involved in providing civic body`s original slips or passes for pay&park at upscale Colaba area on behalf of A A Auctioneers & Contractors Pvt Ltd that had obtained contract from the civic body, was nabbed, police said.
Mishra began preparing fake passes since one-and-half-year back in connivance with Mazi, who printed them.
It is very difficult to identify these passes as fake, police said adding that the accused sold them to tourist vehicles` drivers at half rate or ten times less than the price of original pass.
The drivers then used to park their vehicles showing these passes and then collect the actual amount written on the passes from the owners in a bid to pocket the differential amount.
After the arrests, pay&park fake passes allowing parking at Mumbai international and domestic airports, civic body places and toll stations fake passes that allow plying of vehicles at Bandra Worli Sea Link, Aarey Milk Colony and Thane-Bhiwandi bypass were seized from them.
The face value of the fake passes is Rs 27.80 lakh, police said adding that, "By this way, the government must have suffered losses of crores of rupees by now."
Police are also probing if the actual contractors at toll stations and pay&parking were also involved in the racket.