Mira-Bhayandar: After evading the police dragnet for nearly two years, a small-time chawl builder was finally arrested by the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police for his involvement in duping gullible home seekers by offering cheap tenements in the Vasai-Naigaon belt.
The accused who has been identified as Vaikunth Brijraj Mishra lured home seekers by offering cheap 300 square feet rooms in under construction chawls on an installment system.
The action followed in response to a complaint filed by a victim who was fleeced of ₹2.50 lakh by Mishra under the false promise of giving him the room for ₹4 lakh. The complainant paid the amount in installments between 2018 to 2022. However, neither did he get the possession of the room, nor was the money refunded by Mishra who went absconding. Several attempts by the police to track Mishra went futile as he had switched off all his mobile numbers before going underground.
While reinvestigating cases to nab absconding criminals, a team led by API Sachin Sanap under the guidance of senior police inspector Jairaj Ranawre received a tip-off about Mishra’s presence in Virar. The team laid a trap and arrested him from Cosmos Building where he was holed up and rarely stepped out from his apartment fearing arrest for nearly two years.
Investigations revealed his involvement in three more cases in which he had cheated home-seekers using a similar modus-operandi. The alleged inaction of authorities against the chawl-builder mafias operating in the Vasai-Virar belt has paved the way for them to cheat potential buyers-mostly from the lower economic strata of the society with promises of offering cheap homes.