Retired Air India supervisor duped of `60 lakh

Mumbai: A retired supervisor of Air India, Pramod Kaluwala, 60, fell prey to a fake property investment scheme floated by three men, including a builder, and has been cheated of Rs60 lakh. A case of cheating was registered under relevant IPC sections at Aarey police station. The accused trio, E Murlidharan Iyer, Shailesh Joshi and Dharmendra Thakur, had allegedly proposed a fake construction project to Kaluwala and lured him to invest his money in a plot in hope of better returns.

According to police, Iyer was the complainant’s colleague at Air India, who had approached him in 2014, claiming to know a builder, Thakur, who said he was building commercial offices at Royal Palms in Aarey Colony. Iyer lured him with a good investment plan. Impressed with the offer, Kaluwala visited Thakur’s office with Shetty, a property dealer, who showed him an open plot reserved for erecting a commercial building. Moreover, Thakur also showed a floor plan of the building and Kaluwala immediately booked two commercial offices.

Police said the accused assured Kaluwala of completing the project in 18 months and giving him the possession. Based on the verbal agreement, Kaluwala deposited Rs43 lakh in Tha­kur’s bank account, followed by depositing another Rs5 lakh and Rs10 lakh cheques. Interestingly, when Thakur insisted Kaluwala make more payments, the latter sought a receipt of Rs58 lakh he had already paid. However, Kaluwala’s dema­nds were met with excuses, claiming the construction was stalled due to fund crunch. Over the years, Kaluwala tried to get his money back, but all efforts proved futile. Last week, he approached Aarey police and registered a cheating case against Thakur, Joshi and Iyer. “The complainant has accused them of cheating and claimed there was no such plot and no property project was shown to him. The total amount misappropriated in the matter is Rs60.03 lakh and we are verifying the allegations made in the matter,” said a senior police officer.

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