Home buyers lose Rs 36 cr in fraud

A real estate firm owner was arrested for swindling over 1,500 prospective property buyers to the tune of Rs 36 crore.

Manoj Bhardwaj, 41, chairman and managing director of city based real estate company Arun Dev Builders Ltd, was booked for selling flats in a pre-launch project in Haridwar.

The company had proposed a township project ‘Arun Dev City: Haridwar’ in 2006 without prior registration, land, approval or sanction of the site plan, police said.

Bhardwaj was arrested on Saturday after Delhi Police got complaints from several buyers.
“Thirty-six buyers had filed complaints with various police stations,” Deputy Commissioner of Police of economic offence wing Sanjay Tyagi said.

He said police found out that the developer got no clearance from the Uttarakhand government.

Bhardwaj, who faces charges of illegal bookings of pre-launch properties, has been booked on criminal charges of conspiracy to defraud prospective buyers.

He is in police remand now.

Arun Dev Builders Ltd collected more than Rs 100 crore from buyers for projects in Shahpura, Bhiwadi, Jaipur, Mandawar and Faridabad without having approval from the competent authority or the government, police said in a press statement.

According to police, Bhardwaj started his career as a property dealer by buying agricultural land and selling it as small plots to individuals.

In 1997, he floated his own company, which lured middle class buyers into affordable housing projects.

The company induced gullible investors by selling dreams through luring brochures and advertisements, police said.

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