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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Gang of 5 leaves 3500 families in 55 buildings facing uncertain future

Gang of 5 leaves 3,500 families in 55 buildings facing uncertain future

Updated on: 09 August,2023 11:18 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shirish Vaktania , Kartavya Arora | mailbag@mid-day.com mailbag@mid-day.com

In massive scandal, scamsters sold Rs 20-lakh homes in 55 illegal buildings constructed with impeccably forged papers, including RERA approval, to working-class people in the Vasai-Virar areas

Gang of 5 leaves 3,500 families in 55 buildings facing uncertain future

Dilip Adakhale, Rajesh Naik, Prashant Patil and Dilip Benvanshi

Around 3,500 families of drivers, daily wage workers, painters, etc. in Vasai-Virar are in shock after the police arrested a gang of 5 people, who had sold them flats from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh in illegal apartments, cleared under RERA using fake documents. It is a matter of investigation as to how various government agencies either did not verify the fake documents, or were convinced by them. The arrest of one gang member in July led to the arrest of the other four on Saturday. The Virar police have learnt that more than 55 buildings have been constructed by the accused and many of the buyers even procured home loans with clearance from RERA.


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One of the buildings built as part of the scam four of the five accused arrested in the scam. Pics/Hanif Patel
One of the buildings built as part of the scam four of the five accused arrested in the scam. Pics/Hanif Patel


The collector’s office, that is investigating the case, will soon take a call on the fate of these families. Preliminary investigations by the cops have revealed that the accused had managed to convert the agricultural category land for adivasis into non-agricultural category using forged documents and even got RERA clearance. The land (in various places in Vasai-Virar) is owned by two of the accused, Benvanshi and Patil, who are also the developers.

“The entire sale looked crystal clear, and with RERA clearance, many reputed banks readily offered loans, leaving no doubts in the minds of investors,” an officer from Virar police station said. Police sources told mid-day that this is the first property scam in India where the total collection by the builders is Rs 3,000 crore. Around 3,500 families are victims of this scam, that allegedly was not smelt by agencies in the construction and ownership process – including the District Collector, Thane and Palghar; Additional Collector Jawahar; Commissioner VVMC; Deputy commissioner and town planning VVMC; CIDCO; RERA authority and income tax department.

Ganesh Patil, assistant commissioner of VVMC received a complaint about a double agreement case in Rudransh building and found all papers were fake. He then filed an FIR. Pics/Hanif Patel

Ganesh Patil, assistant commissioner of VVMC received a complaint about a double agreement case in Rudransh building and found all papers were fake. He then filed an FIR. Pics/Hanif Patel

Lower middle class targetted

The construction of buildings, as explained by police officers, began four years back. At least 55 buildings were constructed in Vasai-Virar and flats sold to around 3,500 families, with fake documents. The accused converted agricultural land to non-agricultural, hired agents and specifically targeted lower middle class families, with the lure of flats worth Rs 15lakh -Rs 20 lakh. The buyers also got PMO subsidy as well, at Rs 2.5 lakh, reducing the total cost of the flat. Using fake documents they were given RERA approval which attracted more potential buyers. After the victims gave the down payments, they were taken to the government registration office where they even got the papers to their flats.

Everything fake

Sub-Inspector Surendra Shivade of Virar police station registered a case in February on the complaint of Ganesh Patil, 44, assistant commissioner of VVMC, in which he told the police about the fake documents and buildings being constructed in Vasai-Virar. On February 7, Ganesh Patil received a complaint about a double agreement case in Rudransh building. On checking the legal papers Ganesh Patil found they were fake and filed the FIR.

A police team with the seized fake stamps, and other documents, etc
A police team with the seized fake stamps, and other documents, etc

Acting on the complaint, the police arrested one Machindra Vahane on July 23. He told them about the involvement of Dilip Anant Adkhale, which led the police to raid his place of operation, where they found 93 fake stamps, 600 fake letterheads of VVMC, 500 fake CIDCO letterheads, 55 fake files of different buildings, fake OCs and multiple drawings, blue prints and fake permission letters. In the investigation from July 24 to August 1, in just one week, police managed to expose the scam. They also arrested Dilip Kailash Benvenshi, Prashant Patil and Rajesh Naik for the creation of fake documents.

The police have written letters to all the government departments involved to come forward and register FIRs against the accused. The police also said that this is the biggest money laundering case in a long time. The accused have been booked under various sections of the IPC and Maharashtra Ownership of flats Act, 1963.

Rs 3,000 cr
Approximate worth of scam

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