Crime Watch: City businessman duped of Rs 7.26 crore in Lonavala land deal; 10 booked by cops
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The Lonavala police has booked 10 people for cheating and forgery after they allegedly duped a Mumbai-based businessman to the tune of Rs 7.26 crore. To acquire 14.5 acres in Lonavala, the complainant was told to pay people who were falsely shown to be either in possession of the property or having tenancy rights. The police have arrested two of the accused, Kishor Lalwani and Kishor Madyani, so far.

The complainant, Vinay Chawala, a Worli resident, runs an edible oil production business, and he and his father set up two real estate companies.

The FIR registered on August 16 at Lonavala City police station alleges that in May 2013, Chawala's brother-in-law, Tulsi Jasnani approached him and his father with a purchase and development plan for 14.5 acres in Kunenama village in Lonavala. Jasnani allegedly assured they were getting land cheap, and could profit by selling it later. Chawala visited the site and liked it.

Believing Jasnani, Chawala and his father paid Rs 7.26 lakh during 2013-2014. However, it was later found that those shown as being in possession of the land or as tenants were not so.

According to the FIR, Jasnani claimed he had struck a deal for Rs 27 crore and assured that Lalwani and Madyani, shown to be `in possession of the land’, would resolve all problems and complete the Non Agricultural (NA) transaction.

Chawala alleged that following Jasnani’s assurance of a clear title, he and his father paid several people as suggested by Jasnani. They paid Rs 2.5 lakh each to three persons who were the original owners - Babhabai Landge, Nirmala Taware and Ranjana Sathe. An MOU was also signed with the original owners through advocate Vinod Mistry and Company, under which the owners purportedly accepted Rs 2 crore to abandon their rights on the property. Three agents were also paid Rs 2 lakh as brokerage.

As suggested by Jasnani, Rs 1.85 crore was paid to 'agricultural tenant' Ram Awasthi for abdicating his tenancy rights, and Rs 1.08 crore to Lalwani, the FIR alleges.

Later, Jasnani, Mahesh Alimchandani, and Mistry allegedly claimed a social organisation named Bombay Mission Superior Trust also had interests in the property, and told Chawala to pay two woman trustees. Rs 1.15 crore was allegedly paid to two Michel Brigreza and Briget Brigreza.

Chawala later discovered he had been defrauded of Rs.7.26 crore by the accused using forged documents. A case has been filed under IPC sections of cheating (420), criminal breach of trust (406), dishonest or fraudulent execution of deed of transfer containing false statement of consideration (423), criminal conspiracy (120-B) along with the sections of forgery (467,468 and 471)

The accused are identified as Tulsi Jasnani, Mahesh Alimchandani, Kishor Lalwani, Ram Awasthi, Kishor Madyani, Sharda Alimchandani, Vinod Mistry and Company, Gautam Jasnani, Michel and Briget.

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Free Press Journal