Mumbai Crime: One held in Rs 5 crore fraud case; kingpin wanted
The cheating technique that was aided by property evaluators and financers was adopted by a wide network of the gang to loot people; more victims suspected
After a year and a half of intense investigation, the Oshiwara police finally arrested one member of a gang that ran a well-organised racket of financial fraud. The gang primarily used two modus operandi to cheat people - overvaluation of properties to obtain higher loans and double financing of a property - both by forging property documents in connivance with realty evaluators and financers.
Accused Ravindra Gambhir, 40, was arrested from Kandivli for cheating to the tune of Rs 5 crore while the gang's kingpin and other members are yet to be arrested.
A case in this regard was registered in early 2018 by Sangeeta Sanjay Jhunjhunwala, a resident of Lokhandwala, who had taken a loan of Rs 2.94 crore from the Manish Nagar branch of Dena Bank, against her two flats in Rushi Tower of Lokhandwala.
"After paying a few EMIs, she decided to sell her flats," said an officer. That's when Sangeeta's husband Sanjay, who runs a garment shop, contacted one of his clients Rajesh Harishchandra Dahanukar, a financer, to seek his help in finding a prospective buyer. Dahanukar, cops said, is the mastermind in this case and has gone underground ever since Jhunjhunwala registered a case at Oshiwara police station.
"After learning that Jhunjhunwala wants to sell her flats, Dahanukar got his accomplice Rakesh Chakraborty to sign a sale agreement with Jhunjhunwala against the payment of some amount and the original documents of both flats were handed over to Chakraborty," said the officer. The flat was to remain in Jhunjhunwala's name till the Rs 2.94 crore loan was repaid by the new owners of the flat.
Dahanukar and Chakraborty then contacted Powai-based financing company Fullerton India Credit Limited to apply for a mortgage loan of Rs 4.88 crore against forged documents of Jhunjhunwala's flats.
"The financing company granted them a loan and issued a cheque of Rs 4.88 crore against the name of Sangeeta Jhunjhunwala. The duo opened a bank account in Jhunjhunwala's name in a Borivli branch of UCO bank to deposit the cheque," the officer added.
During the investigation, the Oshiwara police learnt that the amount was soon transferred to 12 different bank accounts with Gambhir being one of the beneficiaries.
The Jhunjhunwala couple was unaware of this until Dena Bank issued them a notice for non-payment of EMIs to return the mortgage loan of Rs 2.94 crore.
"Rs 57.87 lakh was transferred to Gambhir's bank account. We arrested him from Kandivli. The investigation is at a nascent stage and we will soon send all the gang members behind bars," said Shailesh Pasalwad, senior inspector of Oshiwara police station.
Sources told mid-day that Dena Bank has auctioned both the Lokhandwala properties of Jhunjhunwala in 2018 to meet the losses they incurred.
"At present, the Jhunjhunwala couple is living in a rented accommodation in Goregaon," a source said.
Not first-time offenders
Chakraborty's anticipatory bail application has been rejected by the sessions court and he has approached the high court to get interim relief. He has been booked for similar offences by the Bandra police station.
Dahanukar is a history-sheeter against whom similar offences have been registered at Versova police station. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) too has booked Dahanukar in a demonetisation-related case.
"Dahanukar got his accomplice Rakesh Chakraborty to sign a sale agreement with Jhunjhunwala and the original documents of both flats were handed over to Chakraborty. Dahanukar and Chakraborty then contacted Powai-based financing company Fullerton India Credit Limited to apply for a mortgage loan of R4.88 crore against forged documents of Jhunjhunwala's flats," said a police officer
Rs 2.94 crore - Amount of loan taken by Jhunjhunwala
Rs 5 crore - Amount allegedly looted by Gambhir and gang
Rs 4.88 crore - Amount of loan Dahanukar and Chakraborty applied for at Fullerton India Credit Limited
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