Executives of a Bengaluru-based property investment company have been booked by Mumbai Police’s economic offences wing (EOW) for duping over 7,000 investors to the tune of ₹700 crore by promising them lucrative returns in agriculture and non-agricultural plots.
The agency has opened a look out circular (LOC) against the accused to ensure that they do not flee from the country. The EOW has named Expat Projects and Development Pvt Ltd, directors and senior executives namely Sachhinandan Kanchan, Firoj Shaha, Santosh Shetty, Nenumal Bhatia, Arvind Gowda, Lancel D’souza, Parth D’souza, Rakesh Gaekwad, Raina Prasanaa.
The bookings were undertaken from 2013 till this year. The investors are comprises NRI’s who have been investing in the firm which has offices in the city, Pune, Bengaluru and Goa. The EOW searched the premises of offices of the firm and have seized documents and records for further investigations. “We have begun the process of searches and seizures. We have also begun the proceedings under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) (In Financial Establishments) Act, 1999,” Mumbai EOW chief Rajvardhan Sinha told FPJ. “We will gradually take up the investigations further.”
According to EOW, the company would take up to 70% of the land price in a monthly installment scheme. The promises of land, however, were never met, alleged the investors. The company also lured the buyers by promising additional interest of 2% than the prevailing rates if the land parcels were not given. While initial promises were met, the firm soon started to default on the payments, triggering complaints from the investors. The land parcels were bought by the company at Raigad district and attracted the investors owing its proximity to Mumbai.
The EOW took the investigations based on a complaint of a 58-year-old woman to V.B Nagar police station in Kurla. The woman was allegedly duped of Rs 63 lakh by the firm.
The agency has been approached by over 400 investors from Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Goa. The agency is scanning voluminous documents and records and is trying to trace the accused in the case.
A case has been registered under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent), 420 (cheating), 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), 34 (common intention) and relevant sections of the MPID act.