Mira Bhayandar: With the arrest of four persons, the crime branch unit (Zone III) attached to the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police claim to have busted a gang which cheated home-seekers by offering fake deals of flats at huge discounted prices.
The fraudsters not only registered their presence on e-portals of various real estate buying and selling platforms, but had brazenly floated a firm named- Builders Winners having its office in the Bolinj area of Virar.
How the gang duped home-buyers
Claiming to be agents appointed by banks to auction flats which were attached over loan defaults, the quartet collected huge amounts as advance and processing fees by offering lucrative buying proposals to home seekers before fleeing in March-2022. In response to a complaint filed by Piyush Diwan and 43 others who were collectively duped of more than Rs. 80 lakh, the crime branch unit was directed to conduct parallel investigations into the case.
A team led by Police Inspector-Pramod Badhakh under the supervision of ACP- Amold Mandve started investigating the case. However, the fraudsters had switched off all mobile numbers and had apparently gone underground. The team activated their core informer network and on the basis of a specific tip-off, zeroed in on the quartet identified as- Parvez Dastagir Shaikh alias Peter Siqueira (31), Saheb Hussain Shaikh alias Prashant Bansal (28), Alaida Shah- all residents of Mira-Bhayandar and Pravin Nanavare who stays in Kalwa.
Investigations revealed that the gang had a history of committing such crimes. They had earlier floated bogus real estate firms by setting up fly-by-night offices in Thane and Mumbai where they had duped 40 and 72 home seekers of Rs.1.20 crore and Rs.1.75 crore using the same modus operandi. The accused have been booked under the relevant sections of the IPC and Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (In Financial Establishments) Act. Further investigations were on.
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