KOCHI: Real estate rackets are back to grab prime properties near Infopark, the city’s IT hub, in Kakkanad. Police are currently investigating the role of such a racket after receiving a complaint of documents being forged to dupe a person in the name of selling 5.5 acres of land near Infopark.
“The probe was launched after we received a complaint on March 6 at Infopark police station from K H Moytheenkutty. He said five persons duped him of Rs 40 lakh after promising to sell the 5.5-acre land for Rs 9 crore,” said an official.
Following the complaint, the police booked five persons — Joseph, 67, of Kolluvally (Ernakulam), and Kothadu natives P R Antony, 64, Royson, 57, Sebastian, 49, and Mary Molly, 53. As per his complaint, Moytheenkutty entered into a sale agreement with them to buy the land for Rs 9 crore believing they possessed the 5.5 acres of the land. However, they only owned 50 cents, he alleged.
“We suspect that a racket is involved in the entire deal. We haven’t fully accepted the complainant’s version though. More persons need to be questioned in detail,” said an officer adding that they had collected the details of the bank transactions done in connection with the deal.
The police also filed a report in court after the five persons sought anticipatory bail. It said they only owned 50 cents of land in the survey number given. However, believing their claims, the complainant entered into a sale agreement with them and gave them Rs 40 lakh as advance.
The five accused persons, however, told the court that they were siblings and legal heirs of the late Raphael, who owned 224.6 ares (around 5.5 acres) in the said survey numbers as per a land document issued by the special tahsildar, Land Tribunal, Ernakulam.
“They claimed that someone had forged the documents creating a fake signature of Raphael. They said they had taken up the matter with the Fort Kochi RDO. We are verifying their claims with the authorities concerned,” said the officer.
They also told the court that it was Moytheenkutty who, along with a few others, approached them offering to help them change ownership of the property in their name, but later forced them into a deal by promising to pay Rs 9 crore for the property.