Pune police bust Rs 1 crore house rental fraud
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Pune police bust Rs 1 crore house rental fraud

Accused used to sublet flats using forged documents and sought huge deposit

pune Updated: Jul 13, 2018 18:37 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Kondhwa,Rent
Kondhwa police have arrested Faizuddin Riyazuddin Shaikh, 25, on charges of cheating as many as 30 people seeking homes on a rental basis.(HT PHOTO)

The Kondhwa police have arrested a 25-year-old man on charges of cheating as many as 30 people seeking homes on a rental basis, to the tune of Rs 1 crore on the pretext of offering them flats on a huge deposit scheme. The police have identified the accused as Faizuddin Riyazuddin Shaikh, a resident of Unity Park in Kondhwa, who operated from the narrow alleys of Kondhwa. The police have widened the scope of investigation and persons associated with registration of fake leave and licence documents and notaries involved will also be investigated in the case.

The FIR against Faizuddin was lodged by a victim identified as Shamim Bano Mansoor Ali Merchant ( 56), a resident of Dongri in Mumbai. Merchant, in her complaint, said that she had signed a notarised leave and licence agreement with Faizuddin on June 17, 2017, wherein Faizuddin had given her three cheques. The first cheque was for a deposit of Rs 30,000 and the others were of Rs 10,000 (monthly rent). However, two cheques, one of Rs 30,000 and the other of Rs 10,000, bounced. After the incident, she came to Pune to find out the reason from the accused.

How accused cheated landlords
Faizuddin Shaikh rents Shamim Bano Mansoor Ali Merchant’s Kondhwa flat and pays her the deposit money and signs leave and licence documents for 11 months.
He then forges a document and gets it signed by a court notary. Using this document, he sublets the flat to a woman and receives a security deposit of Rs 3 lakh.
The ‘fake’ notarised documents are currently under police forensic examination.
Faizuddin Shaikh uses real estate agents to find flats available on rent and repeats the modus operandi, making as much as Rs 1 crore in the process. He uses the money for buying land.
Shamim Bano comes to her house in Pune after a delay in monthly rent payment and finds another tenant living in her house.
Bano lodges a complaint with Kondhwa police, after which Faizuddin’s scam is exposed and he is arrested.
ILLUSTRATION: SHRIKRISHNA PATKAR/HT | GRAPHICS: HITESH MATHUR

Merchant was shocked to see a woman identified as Gulafsha Riyaz Khan, a resident of New Modikhana, residing in her house. Khan told her that she had taken the flat on rent for a large deposit of Rs 3 lakh from Faizuddin, who had declared himself as the owner of the house, and asked Merchant to not visit the place again. Gulafsha even showed the notarised document to Merchant as proof of her agreement with the accused, the FIR stated. Gulafsha also has been named as an accused in the case. The police have invoked IPC 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention ) against the duo. Faizuddin was arrested on July 9 and has been remanded in police custody till July 13.

According to Vishnu Venkatrao Wadkar, police sub-inspector (PSI), the investigating officer, Faizuddin is accused of cheating gullible rental home seekers to the tune of over Rs 1 crore, wherein the accused signed notarised leave and licence agreements for two years with them on a large deposit scheme, which was required to be paid by the tenants. The condition stipulated was that the deposit will be refunded to the tenants once the leave and licence agreement of 11 months comes to an end and the property is returned to the owner in its original form. Wadkar said that Faizuddin took the help of his well-oiled network of real estate agents in furthering his duping agenda, took heavy deposits from the tenants and signed forged leave and licence agreements with the help of a notary, the FIR said.

“Some other tenants, who felt something fishy, approached us with their complaints, which was converted into a FIR. We believe that over 30 persons have been cheated and that the money involved is much higher than the Rs 1 crore. Further investigations will unravel the conspiracy and the other associates involved in the organised cheating scam,” he said.

First Published: Jul 13, 2018 17:03 IST