Prof, 7 others duped of Rs 7.45 cr in flat fraud
Case filed against the owner of Tyche Realty, his wife and other relatives for posing as partners of Ruparel Realty and promising flats in Parel highrise.
The Mumbai police’s Economic Offence Wing (EOW) has registered a case against a couple for allegedly duping a professor of Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics and seven others of Rs 7.45 crore by posing as partners of Ruparel Realty and fraudulently selling them flats in a Parel highrise.
The accused are Siddharth Dhanu, his wife Ronita, father Vasant and cousin Gautam. Siddharth and Ronita are directors of Tyche Realty, a real estate firm that allegedly wooed customers by flaunting its so-called partnership with Ruparel Realty and issuing advertisements for flats at the 73-storey Ariana project in the media. The fraud came to light when professor K Jain, whom Siddharth had allegedly won over by saying that he was his student at Sydenham, came to know after waiting for four years to get possession of his flat that the Dhanus are bogus partners of Ruparel. Jain, who then dug out information about other duped home buyers, chose to approach the cops.
While Siddharth is absconding, the police are trying to verifying the charges against his family members before moving to arrest them.
According to officers in the EOW, Jain was looking to invest in a flat in 2014 when he came in touch with Siddharth, who introduced himself and his wife as directors of Tyche Realty.
“They claimed that they are partners with Ruparel Realty and suggested that Jain bought a flat in Ariana. According to the professor, Siddharth not only won his trust by saying that he was his student, but also took Jain to the project site and Ruparel’s office, where everyone seemed to know Siddharth. This made the victim believe him. Siddharth also handed brochures to Jain and showed him floor plan. This is the modus operandi that he apparently followed with all the prospective home buyers,” a police officer said.
Jain then reportedly booked a flat in Ariana 2014 and paid Rs 1.44 crore. Siddharth allegedly handed over forged allotment letter to Jain. In 2016, he promised to register the flat in the professor’s name. However, the registration was not done.
“Whenever Jain enquired about the project, Siddharth cited excuses like demonetisation and GST. During the same period, he borrowed another Rs 3 lakh from Jain, saying that he was in deep financial trouble and would return the money soon,” the officer said.
It was only in January this year that Jain learnt that there is no partnership deal between Tyche and Ruparel and that he had been taken on a ride by Siddharth, just like many others.
“There are two more cases registered against the couple and their family members by Ruparel Realty as well as a few other home buyers. The case has been registered against the whole Dhanu family. Siddharth is untraceable,” said a police officer.
Ronita, however, claimed that she has no idea about her husband’s dealings.