The wife of alleged conman Kiran Patel, who was held in Jammu and Kashmir for posing as a top official of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), was arrested on Tuesday for trying to usurp a senior citizen's bungalow here, officials said.
Malini Patel was on the run ever since a first information report (FIR) in this regard was registered against the couple on March 22, weeks after her husband was arrested in J&K.
She was arrested from a relative's house in Jambusar town of Bharuch district and brought here, said a release by the Ahmedabad city crime branch.
While Ms Malini was arrested in 2017 in a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy registered against her at Naroda police station of the city, Mr Kiran also faces at least four such cases in Gujarat and was also arrested in the past, said the release.
Earlier this month, Kiran Patel, a resident of the Ghodasar area of the city, was arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir police from a five-star hotel in Srinagar after the authorities grew suspicious about his activities. Later on March 22, the Ahmedabad city crime branch registered a case under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 120-b (criminal conspiracy) and 170 (personating a public servant) against the couple.
Since Kiran Patel is in judicial custody in J&K, the crime branch had said he would be brought here soon through a transfer warrant.
In the latest FIR, it was alleged that Mr Patel tried to grab a bungalow in a posh locality in Ahmedabad by winning the trust of its owner through false claims of being a "Class 1 officer in the PMO" and having close relations with politicians.
The complainant, Jagdish Chavda (63), owns a bungalow in the Shilaj area but wanted to sell it because of personal reasons. Kiran Patel approached Chavda in February 2022, claiming to be a real estate agent, and told the owner his property would fetch a good price if it was renovated.
To win Mr Chavda's trust, Kiran then identified himself as a "Class-1 officer in the PMO" as well as a partner in a cafe chain.
When Mr Chavda agreed for the bungalow's renovation, Kiran, Malini and an interior designer started the work and took Rs 35 lakh in instalments from him, the FIR said.
As the renovation was underway, Mr Chavda shifted to his friend's residence in the Shela area. After some time, Mr Chavda learnt that Kiran and his wife had put their own nameplate outside the bungalow and also did a house-warming ritual as if they were the owners.
When confronted, the Patel couple left the bungalow without finishing the renovation, following which Mr Chavda and his family moved back into the house, according to the police.
In August 2022, Mr Chavda learnt through a court notice that Kiran Patel had filed a civil suit claiming the ownership of the property using photographs of his nameplate and invitation card for the house-warming ceremony, said the FIR.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)