A man posing as a staff member of the privately-run Bombay Hospital in south Mumbai cheated the relatives of an ailing patient of Rs 25,000.
On Monday, at 11.30am, as Ajit Kamble, 35, was wheeled into the emergency room in a semi-conscious state. He was later shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on the 14th floor of the hospital.
Taking advantage of the frantic situation, a man approached Kamble’s wife Sushma, 33, and her brother Sudhir identifying himself as staff member of the hospital.
“The man was formally dressed replete with an identity card strung on his belt. As the hospital is huge, we had no clue where to take Ajit. He even walked inside the ICU on the 14th floor with Ajit on the stretcher. That’s why we believed him,” said Santosh, Ajit’s brother. The man later escorted Sudhir to the cash counter on the first floor. He asked Sudhir to wait near the elevator while he made the payment of Rs 25,000 at the counter.
“My sister-in-law had pawned her mangalsutra and other jewellery and managed to raise Rs1 lakh. Sudhir handed over Rs25,000 to the man and waited near the elevator. The conman left the building from another exit,” rued Santosh.
After waiting for the man to turn up for two hours, the family realised they had been duped.
“A case of cheating has been registered against the man. He has been identified on the CCTV footage, but the police has yet not been able to trace him,” said senior inspector Deepak Dhole of the Azad Maidan police station.
Established in 1952, the hospital currently houses four buildings with a total built-up area of 5 lakh square feet.
“Everyone has access to the first and second floors. There are four buildings, with at least four staircases on each floor. It is very easy to escape unnoticed from any exit. We hear about one such case every six months,” said an official at the cash counter of the hospital.
The hospital authorities were not available for comment.