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South African woman molested in Vashi, duped; one held

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A 48-year-old South African woman was allegedly molested and duped by a person in Navi Mumbai on the pretext of helping her in getting some business in India, police said on Monday.

One person has been arrested in this connection while the main accused is absconding.

The woman, who owns a petrol pump at a town in South Africa, developed friendship with the accused – Kush Agnihotri – through a popular social networking site, Mahatma Phule police station sub-inspector M B Kadam said.

Kush, who is a choreographer, called her to Vashi area in Navi Mumbai while offering her help in getting good business in India, he said.
The nature of business which the accused promised was not specified by police.

When the woman came to India in the last week of September, the accused allegedly debited money from her account equivalent to 34,000 in Indian currency, he said.

Kush later abused and beat up the woman. He also took her to a lodge in Kalyan where he allegedly molested her, Kadam said quoting the woman’s complaint filed last night.

The offences allegedly took place between September 27 and yesterday, he said.

Agnihotri’s friend Shailesh Patil, whose car the former used to take the woman to the lodge, was arrested last night in connection with the case.
A search has been launched for the main accused, the police officer said.

Offences have been registered against the two men under sections 420 (cheating), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504, 506 (criminal intimidation) read with 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC, police added.

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