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By Staff Reporter
In a startling revelation, the Vasai-Virar region is gripped by a housing fraud scandal where builders allegedly sold the same flats to multiple buyers. The investigation has led to the arrest of more than 21 people involved in fabricating documents for the registration of 55 construction projects with the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA).

A total of nine FIRs have been registered across various police stations in the Vasai-Virar region in connection with this housing fraud. The accused are suspected of forging non-agriculture permission, construction permits, and occupancy certificates. These documents, presented with forged signatures of district collectors and town planners, enabled the registration of 117 illegal buildings with MahaRERA.

One victim, Vivek Jagannath Taari, detailed how he was sold a flat that was already registered to another buyer. The accused, Dilip Benvanshi and Machindra Vhanmane, allegedly registered the same flat in the name of both buyers and took a total of ₹50 lakh from them.

The scope of the scandal is vast, involving multiple authorities, including the district collectors of Thane and Palghar, and the town planner of Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC). The accused reportedly used letterheads and seals of these authorities to support their fraudulent activities.

The Vasai-Virar City Municipal Corporation (VVCMC) has been actively pursuing complaints, resulting in FIRs against more than 700 structures suspected to be illegal in the past two years. The recent arrests shed light on the need for stringent checks and balances in the real estate sector to protect buyers from falling victim to such fraudulent practices.

As investigations continue, it remains crucial for authorities to uncover the full extent of the housing fraud and take necessary actions to rectify the situation and ensure justice for the affected buyers.

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