Mumbai Crime: Builder held for cheating 40 people of Rs 133 crore

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police has arrested a builder for allegedly cheating around 40 investors, who had paid him for investing in property. The builder failed to keep his promise and allegedly pocketed Rs 133 crore.

Gurunath Sadashiv Fhondekar, director of M/S Vaidehi Akash housing Pvt Ltd. has been arrested by EOW recently under sections 379 (theft), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code and 4, 5, 11 of the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act (MOFA).

Deputy Commissioner of Police (EOW) S Jaykumar confirmed the development and said that the accused is in police custody and the investigation is on.

The alleged cheating
According to EOW sources, in the year 2005, around 480 flat owners in some old MHADA buildings (built on around 5 lakh square feet MHADA land) in DN Nagar, gave redevelopment work to Fhondekar. The contract was given to Fhondekar on the condition that he would redevelop buildings for 480 house owners on 2.60 lakh sq ft, and rest of the 2.40 lakh sq ft area he could build other property and sell it to generate money to build the redevelopment buildings.

"However, from 2005 to 2009 Fhondekar allegedly exceeded the permissible saleable area from 2.40 lakh sq ft to 3.50 lakh sq ft (110 lakh sq ft extra). He allegedly accepted a lot of money from a number of investors including an Andheri-based complainant Dharamshi Patel, by promising to give the investors part of the property that was to be built on the remaining plot of the land. By this modus operandi, he is suspected to have pocketed Rs 133 crore and failed to keep his promise,” an EOW officer said.

Nearly 40 people who had invested money for property in Fhondekar’s project learnt about the alleged cheating he had done and approached police. The redevelopment is incomplete.

Case lodged
The case against Fhondekar was lodged in the year 2015 with the DN Nagar police, on the complaint of Patel and was subsequently transferred to EOW.

"Last week EOW housing unit officials arrested Fhondekar. He has been remanded in police custody till November 25 by the court,” another officer said.

480
Number of houseowners he was to rehabilitate under the project

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