Promised victims flats and plots at low cost and collected cash of varying amounts over a span of two years; victims approached cops only after she began avoiding them

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police arrested a housemaid on Thursday for allegedly cheating around eight people to the tune of Rs 1.25 crore by promising them flats and low cost plots.
The accused, Vidya Sadanand Rane posed as an employee at the city collector's office to gain the confidence of her victims.

Representation pic

She collected cash of varying amounts over a span of two years and the racket came to light after her victims realised that they had been cheated. According to the police, Bhaskar Dudhwadkar, a labour contractor, met Rane and then introduced her to Anil Atmaram Fartekar and Purshottam Bachare, president of Mumbai Electric Workers Union, who were planning to build houses for their union members under the Gharkul Yojana. "Rane told the victims that she was working with the collector's office and could try for a plot for them and also low cost flats in MHADA," said an officer from EOW.

"She collected Rs 13 lakh from Fartekar in installments, Rs 20 lakh each from Suvarna Loyelkar, Abhijit Varthak and Rajesh Achrekar, and Rs 2 lakh each from Rajshekar Chinchole and Sarla Yevale. She also showed two flats (203 and 204) in MHADA colony Andheri to Loyelkar and Fartekar," the police officer added.

When none of the investors seemed to be getting possession of the flats or plots she had promised and she started delaying and avoiding them, they finally approached the police and lodged a complaint.

Tools of trade
"We were shocked to learn that she was a maid and had cheated several high-profile people saying that she was working with the collector's office. She even showed the victims the flats and plots they could get," said the police officer.

Rane had been working as a maid before trying her hand at cheating. She told the Versova police that she was planning to flee with the money when she was apprehended. "Rane had also forged allotment letters and had given them to some people, who later learnt that they were fake," said the police officer.