Real estate frauds on rise in Delhi: Police

Real estate frauds seem to be on the rise in the capital with investigators pegging the irregularities at Rs 1,000 crore in 2010, a 10-time increase from 2009.

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2011, 19:10 PM IST

New Delhi: Real estate frauds seem to be on
the rise in the capital with investigators pegging the
irregularities at Rs 1,000 crore in 2010, a 10-time increase
from 2009.

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 YS 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 VN 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.

PTI