Prashant Patil and Dilip Benbanshi are the two masterminds in the case. Pics/Hanif Patel
The Virar Police have filed its first chargesheet in connection with the House of Cards scam, but sources said that the Vasai Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) is yet to make any headway in the case. The municipal corporation had formed a 10-member inquiry committee to probe the role of its existing and former employees, whose alleged involvement and negligence helped the scammers.
The police investigation, however, has begun in earnest. After submitting a 3,420-page chargesheet, the Virar police will be filing a supplementary chargesheet in the multi-crore scam. Sources in the Virar police said that the investigating team has written a letter to the Income Tax (IT) department and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), urging them to investigate further, as they suspect the scam involves multi-thousand crores of rupees.
mid-day has obtained exclusive reports on the bank accounts of the mastermind, Prashant Patil, who was arrested for cheating more than 4,000 families in the scam. According to the bank details, the Virar police found transactions worth crores of rupees.
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Police officials revealed that Patil had only meagre amounts, ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000, in his bank account every year until 2011. However, between 2011 and 2023, over R4 crore was credited to his multiple bank accounts. Patil had 10 multiple accounts under the names of Shree Gurukrupa Construction and Rudransh Realtors. The police are now investigating whether these transactions were made by the buyers or by someone else.
The chargesheet filed by the Virar police includes 112 statements from the victims, RERA, VVCMC, MMRDA, CIDCO, and other authorities. The filing of the chargesheet was supervised by Senior Inspector Rajendra Kamble and carried out by PSI Subhash Goilkar, constable Umesh Bokefod, and Nilesh Satpute.
The Virar police have told the court that the main accused in the scam are Prashant Patil, Dilip Benbanshi, Macchindra Vahanmane, Rajesh Naik, Pramod Zore, and Devendra Manjhi. The masterminds, Patil and Benbanshi, were involved in the construction of Rudransh Apartment located in Kopri village, Virar East, where they cheated buyers by using fake government documents.
During the investigation, the police seized 1,100 fake VVCMC letterheads, 115 fake stamps, 500 fake CIDCO letters, and 55 fake CC (commencement certificate) files with multiple copies. The accused gang also used 13 nationalised banks and finance companies to provide loans to buyers for their flats. Senior Inspector Rajendra Kamble of the Virar police station said, "We have submitted the chargesheet and have also written a letter to the IT Department and RBI, urging them to conduct an inquiry."
The VVCMC officials have also conducted an internal inquiry into the scam. As a result, VVCMC has registered around nine different cases against Patil and his gang for illegally constructing the building using fake government documents. No action has been taken as yet. VVCMC Commissioner Anil Pawar and Deputy Commissioner Kishor Gavas remained unavailable for comments.