The Telegraph
Saturday , February 22 , 2014
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Realty frauds land in net

The owner and an employee of a real estate firm, which sold every flat in multiple ghost projects to at least three persons and amassed crores, were arrested from Kadma in the small hours of Friday.

Rohit Singh (37) — the proprietor of CH Area-based Gauri Associates and a native of Ghazipur in UP — and his manager from Rajasthan Akash Agarwal (30) had been evading the police net for over a year. They ran out of luck on their way back to the city from Ranchi around 1am.

East Singhbhum SSP Amol V. Homkar said the duo stayed at rented homes in Govindnagar and Bhatia Basti, respectively, to execute their devious plans.

“The two had gone into hiding after swindling people of their life’s savings. A special team nabbed the men who are wanted in around 25 cases of cheating, forgery and breach of trust lodged at Bistupur, Kadma and Sonari police stations,” the SSP said.

According to police, around 60 people from the city had been conned by the duo. Their modus operandi was simply smart and ridiculously risky.

Singh and Agarwal showed their prospective clients under-construction apartments belonging to other developers, sometimes on site and sometimes as artist’s impressions. Their convincing PR helped them get away with the lie. Besides, clients were offered attractive water, electricity and green space packages, which confused them. Deals were quickly inked on forged documents and money taken on the pretext that delay could lead to missed golden opportunities.

Gullible clients realised that they had been duped into paying lakhs only when they went to register their non-existent property and were told by district officials that the flats already belonged to others.

“We are likely to arrest Rohit Singh’s mother Gauri Devi, whose name too figures in complaints lodged at different thanas. Both Singh and Akash Agarwal are being interrogated on a possible nexus between Gauri Associates and employees of the district registry department,” Homkar said.

Though the SSP refused to reveal the exact amount of money the realty firm might have hoarded by fraudulent means, all the projects were promised in elite city neighbourhoods, where no flat is sold below Rs 25 lakh.

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