For the past month, the Nerul police has been trying to trace a woman who posed as the mother of a US-based man and allegedly sold a flat without the knowledge of the owners.
The fraud came to light in the last week of October when Kaustubh Kulkarni, who resides in the US, sent some people to clean his flat in Mumbai. His father, Sudhakar, who had resided there, had passed away in April. But upon arriving, the men discovered that the flat was occupied by one Santosh Taware.
When Kaustubh demanded that the housing society share his flat documents, he was told they were issued to his mother. “That is when Kaustubh contacted us as his mother had passed away over 12 years ago,” said an officer.
“Taware told us he got the flat with the help of the society secretary, Ashok Gawade, who is a former deputy mayor of the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation,” the officer said. Gawade was arrested after his anticipatory bail was rejected by the sessions court in November. But his arrest has not shed any light on the woman’s identity, as Gawade has claimed innocence in the entire matter. “He keeps saying that he signed the documents after they were signed by others and doesn’t know the woman who posed as the mother of the complainant. We are investigating,” said a senior officer.
“The documents were signed by the society secretary, Gawade and the woman, who has signed her name as Mrs Kulkarni. We aren’t sure if the signatures were made by a woman, but we have to keep looking,” the officer said.
The police is trying to trace the society’s other office-bearers who were present in 2006 when the sale documents of the flat were drawn up. “Taware is not cooperating and has procured anticipatory bail. Our only option is to find the woman and get her to attest that the documents were forged. The society office-bearers from that time have either moved away or passed away,” said an officer.
“It is possible that the woman we are looking for does not exist,” an officer said.