BENGALURU: There may be a glimmer of hope for about 8,000 prospective home buyers who were allegedly duped by real estate scamster Sachin Naik of nearly Rs 700 crore. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has recently taken him into its custody and unearthed numerous properties in his name in and around the city.
According to sources in the CID, the scam was perpetrated by Naik (alias Sumanth alias Yogesh Chaudhary) in the names of his two wives, Disha Chaudhary and Mandeep Kaur, and his girlfriend Shataparani Majumdar. Three real estate projects were promoted in a big way in the city.
People invested in lakhs right from 2012 in Dreamz Infra India Ltd, run in the name of Chaudhary, TGS headed by Kaur, and Gruha Kalyan run in the name of Majumdar. It was only after their calls went unanswered after payment through cheques and there was no sight of handing over of the flats to them that the investors realised they had been duped.
Following a flood of FIRs filed against him by desperate victims, Naik was arrested on March 14 by Madiwala police. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had immediately asked the CID to probe it. The victims were very active on social media demanding justice and this also put considerable pressure for action to be taken against the accused.
“We took him into custody on Tuesday (May 16) and have been interrogating him for the last three days. The positive aspect right now is that for the last one-and-half months prior to that, our officers have been taking stock of all his assets,” a top source said. Three Deputy Superintendents, each having at least a ten-member team, were carrying out the search operations, he added.
Tightlipped about the details, the officer however said that prime properties belonging to Naik have been recovered within Bengaluru and also in surrounding areas. “Some of these properties were bought long ago and their value has zoomed. If the government gives us permission to attach and auction the properties, most of what he duped people can be recovered,” he added.
Elaborating on the modus operandi, sources said that he built four properties to show as samples. “Trusting that, the public began paying huge sums in advance for flats which were never built,” they said.
Naik used the money to buy more properties, in splurging on advertisements to con people and on e-commerce portals ‘Mum and Baby’ and ‘Send my gift.’