Conman posing as Gujarat CMO official and GIFT City president booked for cheating, raping woman
The Vadodara police Saturday booked a man in two separate FIRs — for allegedly impersonating an official of the Gujarat chief minister’s office and for reportedly raping a Mumbai-based woman while he was posing as the CMO official.
The accused, identified as Viraj Ashwin Patel, a resident of Sargasan village in Gandhinagar, allegedly tried to pass himself off as an official of the CMO and the president of GIFT City in Gandhinagar during a brawl at a multiplex in Vadodara late on Friday night. When the police called out his bluff, the woman accompanying him also filed a police complaint against Patel for allegedly raping her several times from April 8 onwards after promising to make her the “brand ambassador” of GIFT City.
A police inspector told The Indian Express that Patel was to be formally arrested Sunday and a further probe into the possible involvement of other persons would be initiated.
He added, “As of now, we know that he provided forged identity documents and also impersonated government officials… Regarding the rape of the woman, we will probe if there are other persons involved in the crime as the complainant had received a phone call from another person proposing the brand ambassador job to her and connecting her with Patel. We will also investigate if an agency was working to lure unsuspecting women into such traps. It will be clear on questioning Patel after his formal arrest.”
According to the police, at around 9.30 pm on Friday, they received a complaint regarding a fight inside the multiplex. When they reached the spot, Patel identified himself as a staff of the CMO and as the president of GIFT City.
“He said that the woman accompanying him had been chosen as the brand ambassador of GIFT city but the two were facing a threat from one another woman, who had been eyeing the position of the brand ambassador… Therefore, the two had been put up in Vadodara for ‘safety’. On examining the Aadhaar card of Patel, it turned out that he had not provided his surname in the document while he had forged his PAN card to add his name as Viraj Shah… When senior officials of the police department made inquiries to verify the claims of the accused, it turned out that his narrative of being a CMO staff and president of GIFT City was false,” the first FIR stated.
In the second FIR, the Mumbai-based woman said that she had allegedly first received a call from an agency that told her that she had been selected as the brand ambassador of GIFT City, for which a shoot would be held soon in Gujarat and Dubai.
The woman said, “The agent passed on Patel’s number to me and he arrived in Mumbai to meet me… He told me that I was to be given a flat in suburban Mumbai, for which he took me around to see properties the entire day. Later that evening, he told me he was waiting for permission to fly a private jet to the Maldives and requested me to wait with him until then. He handed over two bank cheques to me, of Rs 70 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. At 2 am, he told me that permission was granted from Goa and invited me to join him in Maldives. I agreed and we left for Goa at 5 am.”
According to the complainant, while in Goa, Patel allegedly withdrew over Rs 35 lakh from the woman’s account and proposed marriage to her, “creating stories of his parents arriving from the US for a ‘surprise engagement’”. Later, he allegedly forced himself upon her and repeatedly raped the woman every day, she said in the FIR.
In the first FIR filed suo motu by the police, Patel was booked under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 170 (pretending to hold office as a public servant), 417 (punishment for cheating), 467 (forgery of a valuable security), 468 (forgery of a document with the intention of cheating) and 471 (dishonestly using a forged document as genuine). In the second FIR filed by the woman, he was booked under IPC sections 406(criminal breach of trust), 420 (Cheating and dishonestly), and 376(2)(n) (repeated rape on the same woman).