Paedophile Rehan Abdul Rashid Qureshi accused of raping 15 minors arrested in Thane

A paedophile, Rehan Abdul Rashid Qureshi, 34 years old, wanted in connection with 15 cases of sexual assault of minor girls and who was absconding for over two years has been finally nabbed and arrested by Navi Mumbai police from Mira Road, area neighbouring Thane district.

Studying 500 hours of the CCTV footage police teams from the Navi Mumbai, Thane and Palghar launched a massive manhunt. The accused was identified through a CCTV footage of Mira Road railway station and an area in Navi Mumbai, which captured him after he allegedly sexually assaulted two minor girls in two separate incidents of crime. The police finally arrested him from Sheetal Nagar, Mira Road, on Wednesday afternoon.

Navi Mumbai Commissioner of police, Sanjay Kumar revealed that the police identified the accused with the help of his walking style as seen in the CCTV footage.

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The accused was allegedly involved in at least 15 cases of rape and molestation of minor girls since 2017 in Mumbai and the neighbouring Navi Mumbai, Thane and Palghar districts, said Sanjay Kumar.

The modus operandi of the perpetrator was to approach the children at their houses and convince them that their father was calling them. Once the innocent children fell into his trap he would take them to isolated construction sites and commit the heinous crime. Before committing the act the accused use to survey the area and make sure not to use his mobile while in the area. This made it difficult to zero in on him (as data from mobile towers can reveal which mobile number was used from a particular area during a given period), the official said.

Unemployed for the last six months, his last job was with Masjid Bunder-based Fitwell Fixtures. He stayed in Mira Road with his brother and mother. His elder brother works in Dubai. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch), Tushar Doshi, said. “Being a salesman, he was always well-dressed and had the smartness to allure people. While searching his house we found a passport, which had a Parel address, a laptop and clothes he used while committing the crimes.

The laptop and mobile phones of the accused were seized and sent for forensic examination to verify if he had clicked pictures of the victims as one of the victims had claimed in her statement.

During the search, police found documents of a case where he was arrested once by the Taloja police in 2015 for molesting a minor.

Qureshi was booked under IPC sections 376 (rape), 363 (kidnapping), and under the Protection of children from sexual offences act (POSCO). He was produced before the court on Thursday and was sent to police custody till 6th October.

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