Mumbai: Nisha Dusara, 34, was a constant fixture at glamorous parties in Mumbai a few years ago. She would put herself out there to network and schmooze with an eye on the prize, until law caught up with her.
The suave commerce graduate, a citizen of United Kingdom (UK), who once owned a boutique in that country, has now been arrested in Mumbai in three cheating cases and faces two other First Information Reports (FIRs) of similar nature for allegedly duping many to the tune of around ₹9.60 crore.
Although cases of fraud were already registered against her at various police stations, the one filed by two people in Malad in July this year, helped cops nail her.
A businessman and a doctor from Malad approached the police station in three months ago, complaining that Dusara had cheated them during the Covid-19 pandemic, by allegedly promising to procure cheap but high quality non-surgical gloves from the United States of America (USA), which could be sold at a premium in the local market. She cheated them of ₹72 lakhs.
To support her claim, she furnished proofs of air cargo shipment of the imported goods and documents like shipping invoices, customs clearance forms, government scheme approval forms etc. They waited for a year but the shipment never showed up.
After the complaint, she was arrested in September this year.
“On enquiry, we found all the documents and receipts shown by Dusara were forged,” said police sub-inspector Dheeraj Waycos, from Malad police station.
Malad police have been tracking the accused through their informers for two years, and on her arrest, it was revealed she had been arrested in another case for allegedly cheating another businessman of ₹5 lakh in 2021 – she had offered to get him gold ingots from the UK at a cheaper rate. She was out on bail in the case.
Dusara had set up the boutique soon after she got married to a UK-based businessman in 2016. The marriage didn’t last and she returned to India in 2018. Her parents, who reside in Ghatkopar, refused to take her in, whereupon she started living in rented accommodations.
In this period, she met Joy Shah, who eventually became one of her accomplices, and a few others, who gave her the idea of duping people to make a living. Dusara revealed to the police that her accomplices, who are absconding, are small time businessmen and middlemen. The two men who are wanted by the Malad police are experts in forging documents.
The team of cons got together to execute their idea — an imitation of a Bollywood flick. She rented high-end cars to attend parties and go to clubs in search of potential targets, claiming to have business and resources in the UK. She would then spot potential targets, sweet talk them and worm out information about their work. Based on those details, she would quickly tailor fake deals that were hard to reject – name dropping from supposed contact lists from USA and UK helped her win them over.
Once the target was netted, Dusara would introduce them to her associates, who also pretended to know people in high places. “Over the next three or four days, Dusara would gain trust of the targets by showing them forged documents prepared by her accomplices and then extract money from the victims. Once the con was complete, she would block them out, and the victims would finally realise they were scammed.
Soon after her arrest in Malad police station, police officials from Tilak Nagar police station approached the court to take her in custody.
Dusara and Shah had allegedly duped Jayesh Thakkar, a resident of Ghatkopar, of ₹8.33 crore. Thakkar’s daughter Shreya was promised a job in the USA along with a green card, by the duo – they extracted ₹8.33 crores from the family over a period of time, by making false promises.
Dusara is lodged at Byculla jail, waiting for her bail plea to be heard on Saturday. She does not know that Vile Parle and Nirmal Nagar police stations too will be seeking her custody in similar cheating and forgery cases registered with them, even if she was granted bail in Thakkar’s case.
Police inspector Vilas Rathod, from the Tilak Nagar police station, said Shah died 10 days ago – he had consumed poison a few months ago and was under depression. “Both police stations have Dusara named in cases for cheating various people to the tune of ₹5 and 10 lakhs respectively,” said Rathod.