Real estate frauds on rise in Delhi: Police

Real estate frauds on rise in Delhi: Police

According to a Delhi Police document, investigators have seized properties and bank accounts worth over Rs 1,000 crore of real estate developers. The same document pegs the 2009 figure at around Rs 100 crore.

A massive drive was launched last year against land mafia who encroached unattended properties using forged documents, a senior police official said.

Though investigators pointed to economic slowdown for property-related scams last year, Delhi Police had said in 2009 that the phenomenal rise in land price had led to such irregularities.

In 2009, police seized 800 acres of land in the capital, while property spread over 438.28 acres was attached in 2010.

The arrests of two alleged fraudsters by the Crime Branch's Economic Offences Wing in December last year gave the investigators an idea of how they "clinically" went ahead with their plans, the document said.

One was Vijay Dixit (55), owner of a TV channel and a construction company, who allegedly lured people to invest money in projects which never took off. Eight cases are pending against Dixit, while arrest warrants have been issued in three cases.

The other was Gurmeet Singh Wadalia, who was described in a report to the then Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal as a "notorious white collar criminal who is habitual in indulging in big time cheating in crores of rupees".

Wadalia (50), who hails from Mohali and had at least seven cases against him, was arrested on a complaint by a man named Vijay Gupta, who was allegedly cheated of Rs one crore after striking a Rs 21.5 crore deal for a property in Greater Kailash.

He also allegedly cheated one Yogesh Gupta of Rs 1.5 crore after striking a deal for a Lajpat Nagar building, the ground floor and basement of which he had taken on rent. The owner of the building V N Beihal later died of stress due to the ongoing case.

"His modus operandi was that he either projects himself as owner of prime properties or as a prospective buyer of gems. His style gives an aura about him to his prospective victim that he is dealing with a sound party.

"He uses latest electronic gadgets to record conversation of his victims and also other law enforcing agencies while interacting with them so that he can use it at the later stage for his benefit and blackmailing them," the police report claimed, adding that most of his victims are senior citizens.

A senior police official said Wadalia allegedly used to take property on rent after paying huge security deposit but never pays thereafter.

After occupying the premises, he allegedly used to forge 'agreement to sell' using the rent agreement and pose as the owner.

"He sometimes used to approach court against the original owner and get a stay order so that the property owner could not do anything with his property," the official said.

In one of the cases, a senior citizen Balbir Kaur (64) alleged she was cheated of 31 grams of gold by Wadalia who "remoulded the ornaments to weigh 38 grams", which later on was found out to be mostly made of brass and copper.

He also took on rent a Chandigarh property owned by an 80-year-old widow Rajinder Kaur and allegedly converted the lease agreement into "Lease Deed cum Agreement to Sell" by forging signatures of the owner who is living in Delhi, the document said.

Police have identified over 154 economic offenders besides and opened "history sheets" of 35 others who have more than two cases, the report said.

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