Two men have been arrested while a third is absconding for allegedly cheating two prospective buyers to the tune of Rs 6 crore on the pretext of selling them the same property in Juhu. The accused have been identified as Bhikhabhai Sisodiya, Jagdish Patel, and Dhawal Jain who is still on the run.
Six months ago Malad police received a complaint from jeweller Sukhlal S Kaachra who alleged that he had paid Sisodiya Rs 2.5 crore for the property a year ago, but it was not handed over to him. Based on the complaint, the police registered a case. After receiving a tip-off on Sisodiya’s and Patel’s whereabouts recently, a police team proceeded to Falna district in Rajasthan and made the arrests. The accused were brought to the city on Sunday.
Jekyll and Hyde!
Police said that while the main accused Sisodiya defrauded people in the city, to cover his tracks he doubled up as a Good Samaritan, operating an ashram in his native place. During their visit to Falna, the cops were taken aback with Sisodiya’s popularity and status. They said that he had an unblemished reputation there, as he would tend to the poor and needy, also distributing clothes and food to orphans at his ashram.
Chandrakant Gurav, inspector (crime), Malad police station, said, “On the basis of complaint filed by Kaachra six months ago, we began investigations. Kaachra told us that he has paid Rs 2.5 crore to Sisodiya last year and his colleague to acquire the property in Juhu. But, till date he has not received possession. Based on that, we started inquiries and arrested both the accused from Rajasthan.”
It is understood that the accused sold the property to two different parties, making a total of Rs 6 crore in the fraudulent deal. “During investigations, it came to the fore that they had sold the land to another Malad-based jeweller. When we got in touch with him, he said Sisodiya had taken Rs 3.5 crore after showing him the Juhu plot, but not yet handed over the property,” added Gurav.
Police said that the accused middlemen had paid Rs 20 lakh to actual owner of the Juhu property before taking the Memorandum of Understanding to negotiate with buyers. “Sisodiya and Patel are related while Jain works an accountant in their office,” Gurav added.
The police said Sisodiya is a builder by profession and has similar property cases registered against him in Thane, Vasai, Powai and other police stations too. All the accused have been booked under various sections of the IPC, including forgery and cheating. “We had handed them over to Powai police station for further inquiry,” said Gurav.