Conman promises cheap flats, dupes 25 buyers of Rs 4 crore

Posing as a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) employee, a conman has allegedly cheated 25 individuals to the tune of Rs 4 crore by claiming that he could help them get a flat at a building in Kandivli under the BMC quota.

The victims who have been ripped off had paid the con artist amounts ranging from Rs 10 lakh to 35 lakh each.

On realising that they have been cheated, 25 people gathered at Charkop police station in the hope of filing an FIR. When the police refused to register an FIR stating that they needed to make preliminary investigations first, the victims submitted a complaint letter with 25 signatures. The complainants believe that several others have also been cheated by the conman, but have not come forward yet.

“We have submitted a written application to the police, since Charkop police refused to register an FIR against the accused Surti Ahmed Patel (56), who defrauded us by promising flats at a BMC building at Kandivli,” said Mithun Zore, a resident of Kandivili (W) who paid money to the accused.

According to the victims, Patel who used to live at Crystal Palace apartments in Mira Road disappeared overnight. When some of the victims visited Patel’s residence, a security guard at the building said Patel recently shifted. The guard told them that two days ago, the accused had hired a truck, and loaded his household goods to be sent to an unknown destination in Nalasopara.

“After he [Patel] said he was a BMC employee and could easily avail me of a flat, I believed him and managed to collect Rs 32 lakh to give him,” said Charkop resident Sweta Gavkar.

V S Thakker, sub-inspector at Charkop police station, said “We have taken the written complaint from these people. We will now begin an in-depth investigation wherein we will ascertain the claims of each and every complainant mentioned in the complaint letter. We will also check with Mira Road police station whether the accused has any criminal or fraud records.”  

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