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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Items worth Rs 7 lakh stolen from DSK’s sealed bungalow

According to the complaint, eight TV sets, a computer, CD player, some silverware, a camera, a water heater and other items, totaling Rs 6.95 lakh, were among the things allegedly stolen, said Sub-Inspector Mohandas Jadhav, who is probing the case.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: October 13, 2021 10:38:08 am
The bungalow of DS Kulkarni, on Senapati Bapat Road, is currently under attachment by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). (File)

A theft was reported at the bungalow of developer DS Kulkarni, who, along with several family members and associates, is facing prosecution for allegedly cheating thousands of investors of the DSK Group. The bungalow on Senapati Bapat Road is currently sealed after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached it under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in 2019.

An official from Chatushrungi police station said, “The complainant Bhagyashree Kulkarni, who is the daughter-in-law of DS Kulkarni, got to know from the neighbours that some people were recently seen entering the bungalow from the back entrance which faces Chatushrungi hill. Because the bungalow is currently under attachment, the complainant had informed the ED officials. On Monday morning, the bungalow was opened in presence of ED officials and the theft of several items from the house came to light. Subsequentlya, a complaint was registered at the police station.”

According to the complaint, eight TV sets, a computer, CD player, some silverware, a camera, a water heater and other items, totaling Rs 6.95 lakh, were among the things allegedly stolen, said Sub-Inspector Mohandas Jadhav, who is probing the case.

Senior Inspector Rajkumar Waghchavare from the police station said, “There were no security guards on the premises, possibly due to attachment by the ED. There are some security cameras installed at some points, we are checking whether they are functioning.”

Meanwhile, an application filed by DSK’s lawyers — arguing that the bungalow was transferred to DS Kulkarni’s grandson in 2016 by way of a gift deed and was not bought from the depositor’s money and thus could not be attached by the ED — is pending in court.

In 2017, following a complaint lodged by a depositor, an FIR was lodged against DSK and his wife Hemanti and 15 others at the Shivajinagar police station. Subsequently, the ED also launched an investigation against the DSK Group of companies under PMLA. In February 2019, the ED had attached assets worth Rs 904 crore of the DSK Group including the ‘Saptashrungi’ Bungalow located on Senapati Bapat Road. In April 2020, items worth over Rs 5 lakh were reported missing from various unoccupied buildings of the DSK Group, which had also been sealed by the ED.

Cases against the DSK Group

Currently, the DSK Group and its office-bearers including some of Kulkarni’s family members, are being investigated by three different agencies. The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Pune City Police has booked as many as 17 persons in a case under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (In Financial Establishments) (MPID) Act and the Indian Penal Code. Other than five persons, including D S Kulkarni (70) himself, others have been granted bail in the case. Depositors had also filed cases in three other jurisdictions in Maharashtra.

The ED has booked the DSK Group office-bearers under the PMLA and a chargesheet has been filed in this regard in the Special PMLA Court in Mumbai. The immovable properties attached by the ED included land, bungalow, buildings, flats, insurance policies and cash deposits in bank accounts while the movable properties included several high-end cars and bikes.

The Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), which is a statutory corporate fraud investigating agency, has initiated prosecution against DSK Group under the Companies Act.

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Pune Police has investigated two types of schemes, through which the DSK Group had taken money from the investors and is alleged to have cheated them. One pertained to fixed deposits, in which money was taken from the depositors and in return they were assured either of monthly, quarterly or cumulative returns, and also the principal amount after the maturity period.

The other scheme was known as Aadhi Ghar, Nantar Paise (First get the house, then pay the money), under which initially a certain chunk of the total value of the flats was taken from customers and the group then promised to pay EMIs on the bank loans of customers till possession of the property was given. Kulkarni and DSK Group have denied all these allegations.

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