Two men managed to pull off a real estate con that has put the police to shame. The Bhoiwada police have arrested the duo that conned 40 people 22 of whom were cops by promising them cheap auctioned flats seized by banks from loan defaulters.
Swapnil Shelar and (right) Vishal Gaikwad
According to the police, both the conmen are in their thirties and spoke perfect English. They would dress like bank professionals, wearing formals and hiring private cars to create the illusion of wealth. They duped their 40 victims of a total of Rs 1 crore.
The accused have been identified as Swapnil Shelar and Vishal Gaikwad. Cops revealed that Gaikwad, who stays in BDD Chawl in Dadar, knew several policemen, who also were his neighbours in the chawl. “Gaikwad introduced himself as an executive of a leading private bank,” said an officer from Bhoiwada police station.
Gaikwad told them that the bank where he worked had seized several flats from defaulters of housing loans, and added that the bank was planning to sell the seized properties in an auction at throw-away rates.
“He used to go to websites of banks and download the list of properties put up for auction. He would tell clients that a R40-lakh flat in Dombivli would be sold on auction for just Rs 22 lakh,” said the cop.
Gaikwad would then persuade the policemen to register for the auction, asking them to pay R3 lakh for the same. He would wait a few days before sending them text messages, which congratulated them for having ‘won’ the auction, and asked for more payments.
The duo would then make a second appearance before their ‘customers,’ even issuing them forged receipts. “They always took payments in cash, so as not to leave a paper trail that could be used as evidence,” said a police officer.
“When the complainants got impatient and threatened to lodge a police complaint, the accused would give them a fraction of their money back, and say that the rest would be returned soon.
Of course, this never happened,” said an officer. “The complainant in the case was Sushant Hajire, the son of a constable who paid Rs 6.75 lakh for a house,” added an officer.