A case was filed against former Indian cricket team captain and ex-MP Mohammed Azharuddin and two others for allegedly cheating a local travel agent of around Rs 21 lakh, a police official said on Wednesday.
"We have lodged a first information report against Mujeeb Khan (Aurangabad), Sudheesh Avikkal (Kerala), Mohammed Azharuddin (Hyderabad). No arrests have been made and further investigations are underway," Investigating Officer A.D. Nagre, of the City Chowk police station, told IANS.
The complaint was lodged by Shahab Y. Mohammed, 49, proprietor of Danish Tours & Travels here, a former executive with the defunct Jet Airways.
According to the complainant, between November 9 and 12, 2019, Avikkal booked several international airline tickets like Mumbai-Dubai-Paris, Paris-Turin, Turin-Paris, Turin-Amsterdam, Turin-Munich-Amsterdam, Paris-Dubai-Delhi, Copenhagen-Amsterdam, Amsterdam-Manchester, Amsterdam-Zagreb, etc. in various names.
Two persons travelled, Azharuddin and Avikkal, but they met three others in Paris, from where they booked other tickets, mostly business class, in top airlines.
Though Avikkal didn't have money, he insisted it was an emergency and he would pay the ticket charges to Mohammed, who relented only after Khan - who is the personal secretary to Azharuddin - gave an assurance on his (Avikkal's) behalf.
However, Avikkal said he would make a part-payment of Euro 13,500 (or Rs 10,60,000), for the tickets through his bank account in the Croatian National Bank. He showed Shahab an email to the effect dated November 12, 2019.
"I was instructed to book so many tickets, cancel tickets, re-book fresh tickets, re-issue, reschedule, etc, which I did on the assurance that the payment was coming. But, on November 15, 2019, the Croatian National Bank informed that no payments had been received from Avikkal," Mohammed told IANS.
Saddled with a ticketing bill of over Rs 2 million, Mohammed tried to speak with Azharuddin and Khan, but they evaded him, though Avikkal said on November 24 that he was clearing the full payment of Rs 21,45,000 in favour of the travel agency.
Avikkal sent Mohammed a copy of the cheque made in favour of Danish Tours & Travels for the amount on WhatsApp, but till date, no payments have been made to him, compelling him to lodge the police complaint.
Mohammed said that past two weeks, Khan and the others have been even hoodwinking the Aurangabad police that the payment will be made "anytime", but nothing came and finally the FIR was registered on Wednesday.
Azhar threatens to sue
Meanwhile, the former team India captain has dismissed the charges and said he will be consulting his lawyers to file a defamation case.
In a video posted on Twitter, the former cricketer said, "There is no truth in this complaint and is made by people who just want to be in the limelight. The allegations made in the complaint are baseless. I will seek legal advice and file defamation case worth Rs 100 crore against the complainant."