A “builder” who is suspected to have cheated 100-odd policemen from Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai by promising them houses in a building that did not belong to him, was arrested by Agripada police on Wednesday night. A proclamation notice had been issued against Avinash Raskar (52) after he went missing following his release on bail in 2015. Raskar who offered “special discounts to policemen” would show them plots in Navi Mumbai where he planned to develop a housing society. He would collect token amounts from the policemen and then go missing. It would later emerge that the plot did not belong to Raskar.
Senior Inspector of Agripada police Savlaram Agawane said: “Our team has arrested Avinash Raskar who had been missing for around two years after being released on bail in 2015. He had duped several policemen by promising them houses on a plot that did not belong to him.” Since Raskar’s residence came under the jurisdiction of Agripada police, a team comprising police Sub-Inspector Sandeep Joste and Constable Sachin Khanvilkar had been formed to track him down.
“For nearly 20 nights, we would scout the area till we finally found a building where he was staying on rent. We then approached the houseowner posing as people looking for a place to rent. We got a confirmation that Raskar was a tenant in the house. On Wednesday night, we went to the house and arrested him,” said an officer linked to the probe.
Raskar would be produced in Sewri court that issued the proclamation notice against him. So far, Agripada police have found that that there are cases against Raskar at Shivaji Park, RAK Marg, Sewri and Kamothe police stations. The police are expecting more complainants in the case, especially from policemen.
An officer said Raskar would offer “special discounts” to policemen. He would take people to Khandeshwar and Mansarovar and show them vacant plot for which he had fake ownership papers in his organisation’s name. Raskar would also show them a plan of a residential complex proposed on the plot. He would then take a token amount from them ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. After collecting money, he would go missing. Later, when the complainants checked, they found that the plot did not belong to Raskar.