Conmen sell flats to buyers when owners go on vacation

Jan 24, 2014, 16:05 IST | Shiva Devnath

Nearly 40 people have alleged that two men, residents of Andheri, took huge sums as initial payment for purchase of flats acrossMumbai, and then failed to deliver the houses

Two well-heeled brothers Rajat and Rakesh Dhal have been accused of duping several people by selling them flats, which later turned out be owned by someone else. Residents of Andheri, the duo has allegedly cheated around 40 people across the city to the tune of lakhs of rupees.

Brothers Rajat and Rakesh Dhal have been accused by several flat buyers of taking lakhs of rupees by promising them a property, and then going back on their word
Brothers Rajat and Rakesh Dhal have been accused by several flat buyers of taking lakhs of rupees by promising them a property, and then going back on their word

Posing as estate agents in some cases, the duo was well mannered in their behaviour, due to which the unsuspecting buyers trusted them and paid huge sums as token money. However, after a certain period of time, when the victims asked for possession of the flat, the brothers did not provide them with the flat keys. Irked with the delay, when the victims went to the flat, to their dismay they discovered that someone else owned the apartment. They had been shown the flat when the occupants were out of town or while on a vacation.

To calm them down and ensure that a police complaint was not registered, the Dhal brothers would then make some excuse and hand out a cheque for the money taken. But, when the cheque was deposited in the bank it would bounce. Some of the victims then approached the court, where a cheque bouncing case was registered against the duo. An FIR couldn’t be filed since there was no record of the deals done. As a final resort, people approached the court.

Forged documents
Kandivli resident Sanjesh Dhal said, “The two accused were residing in my apartment at Kandivli on rent. Once when we were out of town, they ‘sold’ my property by forging documents. We knew each other well, but are not related. They sold two of my properties and I have filed a case in the court against them. The court has ordered a police inquiry into the case, too. They have duped several people similarly.”

Another victim, Kantikumar Mistry (58), said, “I came in touch with these two through an agent, as I wanted to buy a flat at Kandivli. They showed me a flat, which I liked. I had two properties in Pune and Vikhroli. I sold both of them and gave the money to the brothers. Initially, they made us stay at a lodge in Malad after saying that possession was delayed.

I had to stay with my family for over a month at the lodge. I, however, later realised that I was duped and they won’t pay me back the money. When I approached them, they, however, gave me a cheque that bounced when I went to encash it. Now, I am staying on rent with my family.”

Dharmendra Hiranandani was duped in a similar way. He paid Rs 15.5 lakh as down payment for a flat, but the duo failed to provide him with the house shown to him in Juhu. Hiranandani said, “When I visited the apartment, it was already sold to someone else. They gave me cheques that bounced. I approached the court, after which the brothers paid me Rs 10 lakh, but am yet to receive the balance amount from them.”

Housing project
Meanwhile, the two accused, who were earlier residing in Kandivli, shifted to a rented flat in Andheri last year. They are also alleged to be involved in a major construction project in Dombivli and have taken lakhs of rupees from people, but the project was never completed. The duo then returned some of the money to some people, but is yet to make the full payment.

Bouncing cheques
The Dhal brothers are alleged to have also purchased ornaments from jewellery stores, and then not making the full payment. They would always conduct transactions with cheques and in a similar way, they bought diamond jewellery for Rs 4.6 lakh. A few days later, when the cheque was cashed, it bounced. Abhishek Jain, of Amaze jewellery shop in Andheri, said, “After the cheque bounced, I filed a case against them. They later made a part payment, but are yet to pay the full amount. I found out that they have cheated a number of people, and that is when I realised they are crooks.”

Police says
Senior police inspector Hareshwar Pimple of Kandivli police station said, “We have received the complaint, but since it is a civil matter, we have asked the complainants to approach the court. Only when the court gives us directions will we be able to proceed with the investigations in this matter.”

The other side
When MiD DAY spoke to the duo, they claimed to have paid off all of the aggrieved home buyers. Rakesh Dhal said, “We do not have any cases registered against us. Yes, we have one cheque bouncing case against us, but we have paid the rest of the people.” His brothed Rajat added, “These are all rubbish allegations against us. We have paid all the people we have dealt with. We don’t have any case against us.”

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