Conman didn't put anything on paper, says house owner

Conman didn't put anything on paper, says house owner

The landlord who had unwittingly rented a house to Speak Asia promoter and alleged con-artist, Ram Niwas Pal, has expressed shock at learning the criminal history of a man whom he believed to be an honest member of society.

The landlord, Avinash Deepak, a Chennai-based businessman, said that he is horrified to learn of Pal’s antecedents after a report on his alleged crimes appeared in the Deccan Herald on Tuesday.

Pal, a kingpin in the Speak Asia scam, was arrested by Delhi police on  November 30, Saturday, from 38, Enchanted Woods — a rented home in which he lived with his wife and an eight-month-old baby since June, under the assumed name of Abhay Singh Chandel. 

“I was stunned to find that I had rented the house to a fugitive from the law,” Deepak said, speaking to Deccan Herald and added that Pal had moved into the home after responding to an internet advertisement. “Pal, who introduced himself as Chandel, approached me through a broker and in this manner, managed to take the house on rent,” Deepak said.

Deepak, however, quickly added that he had come to suspect that Pal was involved in shady dealings, and claimed that he had attempted to contact Pal from the last week but was unable to get through as all his three mobile phones had been switched off.

He also revealed that Pal had been averse to putting anything down on paper from the start. “In hindsight, I now understand why he always refused to put anything on paper,” Deepak said. “He never issued a cheque. I became suspicious and asked him for his office ID card and other identity documents necessary for a rent agreement. However, he failed to furnish these records. He did not even pay me any rent during these months and asked me to deduct it from the advance he had paid,” he recalled. 

Neighbours speak

Residents at the gated community have also expressed shock and bewilderment after realising that Pal, a muti-crore fraudster, was living among them. However, none of them knew that he was arrested until Deccan Herald visited the community on Tuesday. The house in which Pal lived was deserted. Neighbours told Deccan Herald that Pal's wife had left with her baby on Saturday, claiming that she had to attend a relative's wedding in Uttar Pradesh. 

Kumar, a neighbour, who is also Deepak’s aunt, said that Pal and his wife kept to themselves in the colony and that Pal’s movements had aroused suspicions.

“He always left the house early in the morning with a large suitcase and returned only after midnight,” she said.  “We never thought he could have been involved in such a big crime.”

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