Poonam Khanna, who claimed to be late comedian Om Prakash's granddaughter, duped 30 NRIs by promising them cheap MHADA flats in Mumbai
No NRIs please: MHADA flats can only be owned by domiciles of Maharashtra. Pic for representation
Khanna (38), a resident of Lokhandwala allegedly duped nearly 30 NRIs by promising them cheap MHADA flats in the city.
Khanna allegedly dropped names of prominent politicians, to lure victims. She also linked herself with Bollywood's yesteryear actor Om Prakash to convince the victims. MHADA officials estimate the real estate scam could run into Rs 8 crore.
Family denies Khanna's claim
Captain Gopal Bakshi, nephew of late Om Prakash, told MiD DAY, "We have never seen this woman named Poonam Khanna, she is a fraud. She is not related to the actor or his family."
On Thursday morning, Jawahar Singh, chief vigilance officer, MHADA, received an e-mail from one Maherun Hassan from the UK stating that Khanna sold nearly 30 flats, priced between Rs 35 and 40 lakh, to UK-based NRIs and charged 1,500 pounds (Rs 1.1 lakh) as booking fee per flat. Hassan also said in the e-mail that Khanna claimed she procured a quota of flats from a senior Delhi-based BJP leader and a Mumbai Congress MP. Some of these buyers were also taken to see the flats.
The bait: Poonam Khanna allegedly took buyers to see MHADA flats. Pic for representation
MHADA officials claimed, last month US-based NRI Vikram Wadhera had complained that Khanna had duped him of nearly Rs 1 crore. Jawahar had then written a letter to Brijesh Singh, DCP Zone VIII stating that Khanna along with her boyfriend Mohammed Majeed Faiz (Pakistani national and staying in Manchester, UK) sent Wadhera scanned copies of forged MHADA allotment letters in his name on April 20, 2009. According to the NRI's statement, Khanna then went to the US and delivered the hard copies. He also claimed that Khanna said, 'A Congresswoman who had got the flats under the government quota had given it to her at half the price'.
The DCP said, "I received the letter from MHADA and have forwarded it to the concerned officials."
Not the first scam
Jawahar added, "A complaint had been registered in December against Khanna at the Versova police station with regards to another swindling case. We have initiated investigations in that case as well."
Did you know?
An NRI is not eligible for a MHADA flat. Only domiciles of Maharashtra can apply and to be a domicile, you should have resided in the state for at least 15 years
The Other Side
Repeated attempts to contact Poonam Khanna on both her cellphones proved futile. She also didn't respond to our messages.