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Scientists, doctors among 4,000 people duped by Mumbai-based businessman in fake land deal

Arrested businessman sold plots measuring 1,000 sq ft with buyback scheme in four years through his firm Temple Rose Real Estate Pvt Ltd.

pune Updated: Jun 22, 2017 11:32 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times, Pune
Police arrest Mumbai-based businessman after NCL scientist lodge a complaint stating that he was cheated of Rs 2.13 crore in fake land deal.(HT REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Pune police arrested a Mumbai-based businessman for allegedly duping thousands of investors, mostly highly qualified, by promising them bungalow plots at Purandar, 50 km from Pune, with high returns, officials said on Friday.

According to senior police officials, around 4,000 investors were duped by Devidas Govindram Sajnani, a 67-year-old Bandra-based businessman, who had promised bungalow plots, which were later found to be fake, at Purandar, the location identified by the government for an upcoming international airport. Among those who fell prey to the lucrative scheme included scientists, IT engineers, advocates and doctors.

The businessman floated a firm called ‘Temple Rose Real Estate Pvt Ltd’ and sold plots measuring 1,000 square feet with a buyback scheme in four years.Sajnani, through his real estate project called ‘Rose city’, sold around 5,294 plots, mostly in the range of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh, by promising investors a yearly return of 25%.

The police action came after a scientist from the National Chemical Laboratory (Pune), Nitin Shukla Tiwari, filed a complaint with the EOW of Pune, stating that he was cheated of Rs 2.13 crore by Sajnani . The police are also looking for four other directors of the real estate firm, including Deepa Sajnani, Vanita Sajnani, Marx Thorat and Keshav Narayan.

“The victims invested their money without verifying the documents of the plots that they were purchasing. Later it was discovered that the firm did not own any land in Purandar and had yet sold plots to investors,” said deputy commissioner of police, Sudhir Hiremath. Sajnani has been booked for cheating, forgery and breach of trust.

RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar, who had helped the investors in getting the relevant documents to expose the fraud, said that most of the victims were well educated and had blindly trusted Sajnani.

“Most of the people who invested their money in the Rose City scheme are highly qualified. They blindly trusted the advertisements that appeared in newspapers and purchased land hoping that they would get high returns in a short span of time,” said Kumbhar.

According to Kumbhar, a doctor from Mumbai had also taken a loan from a bank to invest around Rs 5 crores in the bungalow scheme.

“Without thinking twice, he invested the loan money. Now he is unable to pay the instalments and there is no guarantee on whether his money will be returned or not,” said Kumbhar.

First Published: May 26, 2017 13:05 IST