SURAT: A fortune earned from selling a piece of land way back in 2012 has left a 57-year-old man cursing his luck! The Mota Varachha resident lost all of Rs 3.55 crore earned in the land deal to a woman who bewitched him with romantic conversations over the phone for a good decade.

The victim Mukesh Desai‘s woes only worsened when he managed to trace her to Banaskantha after the fraud dawned upon him. The woman, who had spoken to him with four different identities, accused him rape and extortion when he demanded his money back.
Desai lodged a complaint against Chetna alias Pooja alias Madhu Vihol, her father Vaghji alias Jagdish Desai, her mother Jyoti, her brothers Rajendra and Bhupatsinh, her husband Rajendra Rajput and another relative Dinesh Sagar. Chetna and her relatives are natives of Megal village in Banaskantha’s Vadgam district.

Desai missed a call on his mobile phone in April 2013. When he called back, the woman on the other end introduced herself as Sonia Patel and claimed she knew his family members. After engaging him in talks for some time, she asked Desai if he could help her friend Pooja Desai, who is also from his caste. She told him that Pooja’s family is in dire financial condition and she would befriend him if he helped her financially.
When Desai agreed, she introduced him to Pooja over the phone but little did he understand that she was speaking with a different name. Desai told police that the woman indulged in such romantic talks that he got blinded and started doing as she instructed.
In 2013, Desai sent her Rs 1 crore in multiple tranches through angadia to Palanpur.
Pooja even told Desai that her family owns a hotel worth Rs 17 crore in Mount Abu and needed money to free it from partners. She also claimed that her father owned a haveli worth Rs 100 crore in Jodhpur and sought money for its repairs. Till 2018, Desai sent her a total of Rs 3.55 crore. It was only then that he suspected something fishy and started demanding back the money. Pooja stopped taking his calls.
Desai somehow traced the family to their village and managed to recover Rs 10 lakh. But when he continued to ask for the remaining money, she lodged a complaint of extortion against in Chhapi police station. Desai claimed he was pressured for settlement in this case for which they again demanded a hefty sum.
The victim also stated in the complaint that the woman had filed a criminal application of rape in the Gujarat High Court in 2021 but it was dismissed in August 2022.

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