Pune flat fraud: EOW begins Maple Group probe, says 20,000 home buyers registered

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Updated: April 21, 2016 9:05 AM

The Economic Offences Wing today said close to 20,000 prospective buyers seem to have registered in Maple Group's controversial project which promised one-bedroom flats for Rs five lakh, a day after a case of cheating was registered against senior executives of the firm.

Appealing to the people who have registered and paid non-refundable amount over Rs 1145 in the low-cost housing project, to come forward, Sakore said, "We will help them to get their money back."(Illustration by: CR Sasikumar)Appealing to the people who have registered and paid non-refundable amount over Rs 1145 in the low-cost housing project, to come forward, Sakore said, “We will help them to get their money back.”(Illustration by: CR Sasikumar)

The Economic Offences Wing today said close to 20,000 prospective buyers seem to have registered in Maple Group’s controversial project which promised one-bedroom flats for Rs five lakh, a day after a case of cheating was registered against senior executives of the firm.

The EOW appealed people, who have registered with the housing project by believing in “misleading” advertisements, to come forward and lodge their grievances with the agency.

The case of cheating and criminal conspiracy against Maple Group’s CMD Sachin Agarwal, MD Naven Agarwal, Sales Manager Priyanka Agarwal and other office staff lodged by police yesterday has been transferred to EOW.

“Prima-facie, approximately 20,000 prospective buyers have registered in the housing project and around Rs 6 lakh were found deposited in one of the accounts of Maple Group, which could have been deposited through online payments by people,” said Deepak Sakore, Deputy Commissioner of Police (EOW), who is monitoring the probe.

Appealing to the people who have registered and paid non-refundable amount over Rs 1145 in the low-cost housing project, to come forward, Sakore said, “We will help them to get their money back.”

To a query when the accused will be arrested, he said notices have been issued to them to be present for inquiry.

“We are in the process of scrutinising the documents and trying to ascertain the exact number of buyers, who have registered in the scheme. We have also made sure there will not be any registration henceforth,” the officer said.

Maple Group had recently published advertisements to promote its scheme promising a one-bedroom, hall, kitchen (1 BHK) flat for just Rs 5,00,000 on the outskirts of city.

The developers carried pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat in newspaper advertisements, apparently to “mislead” people into believing the project, titled ‘Maharashtra Housing Day’, was a part of ‘Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana’.

The government has already clarified the project was not linked in any manner with the schemes of the Central or state government and directed the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) to take legal and criminal action in this regard.

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