Sleuths of the Naya Nagar police in Mira Road have arrested a fly-by-night builder who duped around 53 home-seekers to the tune of more than Rs. 3 crore by promising affordable flats in a non-existent project in the Naigaon area of Palghar district.
The accused, identified as-Nazir Hamid Shaikh, had floated a company called SHS Builders, having its office in the Shanti Nagar area of Mira Road. From here, he had started accepting bookings for an upcoming housing project in Naigaon in 2014. Promising delivery of flats within four years, the accused lured home-seekers, mostly from middle class families, by offering easy monthly installments sans documentation or bank loans.
However, when the construction work failed to take off, even after four years, the hapless would-be homeowners started demanding their money back. The accused delayed this by assuring alternate accommodation. But ultimately the home-seekers got neither their flats nor their money. Some of them were issued dud cheques by the accused who had by then closed his office and disappeared.
The accused was recently spotted in Mira Road following which the police were informed and he was taken into custody.
"Not only did we hand over the entire savings but also took loans from relatives to fund our dream home. Now we are left shattered,” said Rukhsar Shaikh.
“53 people who have collectively lost Rs. 3 crore have so far registered complaints. The case has been handed over to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) for further investigations," said an officer.
"Yes, we are conducting a detailed probe into the matter," confirmed EOW chief Vaibhav Shingare.
Nazir has been booked under relevant sections of the IPC, Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act (MOFA), 1963 and Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act, 1999.