the woman he was set to marry had stolen money
Police in Pune have arrested nine Indian women who are suspected of scamming men through fake marriages. Two men were also arrested.
The women allegedly stole money and gold jewellery before the wedding and fled.
The racket came to light during an investigation into a case where Rs. 2.4 Lakh (£2,300) was stolen from a man before his wedding in the third week of January 2021.
Jyoti Patil, who is said to be the leader of the gang, had approached the man and claimed that a woman from a poor family was ready to get married to him.
The man accepted and was introduced to a woman called Sonali Jadhav.
However, his family later told police that the woman he was set to marry had stolen money from the house and fled.
The woman and her friends were eventually arrested by the Crime Branch.
Officers discovered that the woman was already married with two children and had used a fake name.
A police team led by Inspector Padmakar Ghanwat continued to investigate the case and discovered an entire gang involved in running fake marriage scams.
Nine women and two men were subsequently arrested.
The Indian women have admitted conning at least five men. However, police believe that there are many more victims of the fake marriage scam.
Pune Rural Superintendent of Police, Abhinav Deshmukh has appealed to victims of the fraud and urged them to come forward.
The suspects have been identified as Jyoti Patil, the alleged leader, Mahananda Kasle, Rupali Banpatte, Kalavati Banpatte, Sarika Giri, Swati Sabale, Mona Salunke and Payal Sabale.
Vidya Khandale, who posed as Sonali Jadhav to get married to the man, was also arrested.
Two male associates were also arrested, taking the number of arrests to 11.
The suspects were produced in court on February 9, 2021, and have been remanded in custody.
Inspector Ghanwat told The Indian Express:
“Jyoti Patil used to find out men who have crossed the traditional age of marriage and tell them about women from poor families wanting to get married.
“Sums in the range of Rs 2-3 lakh (£1,900 – £2,900) were taken from them on the pretext of giving the woman’s families gold ornaments for marriage.
“After living with these men for a few days, these women used to flee with ornaments and cash.
“Women have changed their names for these marriages.”