Two realty firm directors held for not handing over Rs 4 crore flat

MUMBAI: Economic offences wing (EOW) arrested two directors of a construction firm for duping the proprietor of an event management firm staying at Marine Drive. The accused took Rs 4 crore in 2008, promising him a flat in a JVPD building by July 2010. But he never delivered the flat or returned the money.

Prakash Barot (55) and Umesh Rao (57), both directors of Zenal Construction Pvt Ltd, were produced before Esplanade court, which remanded them to police custody till March 20.

The complainant had booked a 1,500 sq ft flat on the 8th floor of the building the accused were to construct as part of a redevelopment project. The accused had kept flats up to the fourth floor for tenants, and the rest were to be sold. “They had constructed the building up to the fourth floor when BMC issued a stop work notice. The tenants ran from pillar to post to get the building constructed. They later approached another builder, who took over the project.

The accused kept telling the complainant that work would start soon. Fed up with their promises, the complainant demanded his money back. When they did not pay him back, a complainant was lodged and an FIR was filed in October last year for cheating, breach of trust and under various sections of Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act (MOFA).

Police are probing if more home-buyers were cheated by the duo. Police sources said this was the third case against Barot. In another case with Amboli police, under MOFA, a businessman said he had paid Rs 2 crore for a flat in the same project. A home-buyer had complained to Juhu police too that he had paid Rs 2 crore to the accused.

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