Bombay: Two people arrested for deceiving more than 40 people on a “cheap housing project”
RCF police on Saturday arrested two people, the manager of the “Apan Ghar” scheme and a bank manager, for allegedly deceiving more than 40 people under the guise of selling them houses in Panvel at a lower price.
Police learned that the duo defrauded more than 200 people using a similar modus operandi, as the two claimed they facilitated homes under the “Apna Ghar” scheme. According to police, program manager Apna Ghar has been identified as RR Pandiyan while his accomplice, Suresh Rathod, worked as a manager at The Blue People Co-op Credit Society bank.
Police said the complainant, Shankar Dahihande, 61, came across an advertisement for the Apna Ghar scheme on January 14, 2013. In the advertisement, the two defendants said they provided affordable housing for members of the lower class of the company, police said. .
Dahihande and his wife went to their office in Chembur, where they met a woman, Sarika. She explained the scheme to them and introduced them to Pandiyan and Rathod, police said.
“They then took the victim to their site in the Kolwadi area of Panvel, where Dahihande was informed that he would be given a 350 square foot apartment. Since he liked the project, they proceeded with the deal when Pandiyan kept a covenant that he would have to take a loan from the Blue People Co-op Credit Society bank on a mandatory basis,” an officer said.
The complainant submitted the necessary documents and opened an account there, police said. Dahihande was then told that every month he had to pay them a deposit of Rs 3,573.
An investigator said: “The monthly installments that were deducted from the victims’ account went directly to Pandiyan’s bank account at another private bank, which was opened as The Blue People Co-op Credit Society bank.
But after paying 60 installments, when the complainant went to check the condition of the property in September 2018 as he had been promised possession in 2018, the complainant was told to pay stamp duty, recording and processing. Subsequently, he paid Rs 4.50 lakh, police said.
“And even after paying the money, as there was no progress, the plaintiff went to meet the manager of their bank, asking for possession when he came across several other people who had paid them money. in exchange for an apartment,” an officer said. .
The plaintiff and other victims told police that whenever they went to ask for an apartment, the two defendants sometimes gave them vague answers while many times they even threatened them, police said.
Later, when the plaintiff met a few other victims who were also duped under similar pretexts, they learned that the Kolwadi plot in Panvel did not belong to Pandiyan, the police said.
“He had booked 15 flats there and told the builder he was going to donate the flat to the poor, to which Pandiyan asked them to stick their banner on the site, thinking he was using to attract the poor. victims,” said an investigator. .
The complainants along with 39 others who were duped out of money totaling up to Rs 11.11 cr then approached the RCF police station and filed a complaint request in the first week of January. A case was recorded early last week after which Pandiyan was arrested at a hotel in Govandi and Rathod was arrested at PL Lokhande Marg in Chembur.
Police have learned that there are 20 registered cases against Pandiyan of which seven are related to cheating.
“Both defendants were brought to Holiday Court on Saturday and taken into our custody for two days,” an officer said.