Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Realty company dupes investors of Rs 40 crore

MUMBAI: The economic offences wing (EOW) has registered a case against a realty firm for allegedly cheating over 3,000 investors after promising them high returns. The firm, M/s Aurum Realty Ltd, the police say, may have swindled people all over the state and the fraud is to the tune of Rs 40 crore.

According to an EOW official, Amrish Patankar, a Customs House clearing agent, lodged a complaint on March 15 stating that the company had floated two schemes at Kasara and Karjat and promised to construct "dream houses" there. "The company promised the unsuspecting victims very high returns on the amount they invested till the project came up. The firm even assured that the investors will be the tentative owners of the one-acre land at Karjat,'' a police officer said.

"The company has two offices in Mumbai; one in Mulund and the other at Senapati Bapat Marg. The Parel office was, in fact, rented on a monthly payment of Rs 1.84 lakh. But the offices are shut now,'' said the officer, adding that more than 35 investors had approached the police. "We suspect the number of those duped is more than 3,000,'' he said. The company has its other offices at Nashik, Aurangabad and Pune.

Investigators said the company floated the scheme in January 2009 and placed huge advertisements in newspapers. The advertisements read: "Change your life. Be Rich. Get wealthy by investing in land.'' The company had two schemes: Nature Valley and Astra Hills. The investors were promised that their money will be doubled in a year. Now, the police suspect that the land at Karjat, for which advertisements were placed, does not even belong to the company.

"Directors of the company were careful in disbursing the returns till March, after which it stopped. Now, the investors have started approaching the police,'' another officer said.

According to the scheme, if a person invested Rs 51,000, he was supposed to get a monthly return of Rs 8,160 for one year. Those who invested Rs 7.25 lakh were to get a monthly return of Rs 1.30 lakh. "In its brochure, Aurum stated that it's ISO certified and had promised customers high-rises with a host of amenities. But since one year the plot has been lying vacant,'' a senior police officer said.
Mateen Hafeez, TNN Mar 23, 2010, 04.43am IST

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