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Police arrest woman, daughter in Mumbai for duping 130 people of ₹5 crore

Accused promised victims flats in MMRDA buildings built under Slum Rehabilitation Scheme

mumbai Updated: Mar 21, 2018 13:17 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,EOW,duped
The complainant said the accused had claimed she was a social activist.(HT FILE)

Officials of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police have arrested a 53-year-old woman, who allegedly duped 130 people of Rs5 crore across Mumbai on the pretext of getting them flats in Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) buildings built under Slum Rehabilitation Scheme (SRS) for those affected by MMRDA’s road widening and railway’s land expansion projects. The accused woman’s daughter was also arrested as she allegedly helped her mother in her illegal acts.

Sushila Narayan Shetty and her daughter Suman Shetty, 32, were arrested on Monday by the officials of the housing unit of EOW.

The police said that the 40-year-old complainant in the case Sudhir Shetty, a Kanjurmarg resident, told police that he had known Sushila since 2012 as she lives in his building.

Sushila, who Sudhir said claimed to be a social activist, had told him that she is a survey officer for an organisation, the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centre (SPARC).

She claimed she had done surveys in Nitty Paaspoli-Powai, Diva, Mumbra and Kalwa areas and learnt that slum-dwellers in these areas would be affected from MMRDA’s road widening and railway’s land expansion projects. She said that to rehabilitate them under SRS, MMRDA would give them rooms in newly constructed buildings in Kanjurmarg (East) and Nahur areas, the police said.

Sushila suggested Sudhir should buy slum rooms (for Rs6 lakh each) from Powai slum area and benefit from the SRS scheme. He paid Rs 12lakh (partly in cash and partly in cheque) for two slum rooms out of the seven showed to him by Sushila, and also got relevant room transfer documents from her.

After getting the room documents, Sudhir’ faith in Sushila had increased to such an extent that he introduced five of his relatives and friends to her. These five people gave her Rs39lakh and also received relevant documents from Sushila like Sudhir had got.

However, after some time Sushila started avoiding Sudhir and the others, making them suspicious.

“Sudhir and others were left shocked when in 2014 they found that their names were not there in the list of those project-affected people, who were allotted rooms by MMRDA in Kanjurmarg and Nahur. Sudhir and other victims when they visited Sushila’s place a number of times were shocked to discover that like them Sushila had duped nearly 130 people of Rs5crore,” said a police source.

The victims approached the police and in 2015. A case was registered against Sushila and her daughter at the Kanjurmarg police station. Later, the case was transferred to EOW.

EOW officials recorded statements of 94 victims and after collecting evidence on Monday, arrested Sushila and her daughter. Investigators have also seized forged documents pertaining to the case from the residence of the accused. The two have been charged under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, the police said.

First Published: Mar 21, 2018 01:03 IST