Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) officials have unearthed a fraud where people in northern parts of Karnataka were allegedly duped by a man, who, posing to be a farmers’ leader, issued fake possession certificates of BDA sites to them for crores of rupees.
The accused, identified as Vijayanandaswamy, claimed he was the State president of the Uttara Karnataka Pradesh Raitha Sangha, a registered association with office in Chamarajpet. Along with his associate, Ramesh, he collected membership fees of ₹15,000 each from around 1,000 people, promising that they will be given BDA sites in Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout at concessional rates.
According to BDA officials, after collecting membership fees, he issued fake possession certificates with BDA seals and forged the signature of the Commissioner. A press release from the BDA stated that Vijayanandaswamy had issued fake certificates to 50 people and charged them anywhere between ₹50,000 to ₹3 lakh.
How it came to light
The fraud came to light after one of the ‘beneficiaries’ approached a deputy secretary to check the authenticity of the certificates he received from Vijayanandaswamy. The man had paid ₹3 lakh to the accused and received ‘certificates’ for six sites.
The official, on realising that something was amiss, alerted BDA Commissioner H.R. Mahadev, who in turn directed the Superintendent of Police (BDA) to carry out an inquiry. After probing the scam, BDA officials raided Vijayanandaswamy’s office at Chamarajpet and seized fake allotment certificates, rubber stamps and other documents. A case has been registered against the accused at Seshadripuram police station.
While Vijayanandaswamy has been arrested, Ramesh is on the run. During the investigation, the accused allegedly confessed that he had plans to dupe 3,000 people.
Superintendent of Police of the BDA Shivakumar Gunare told The Hindu, “The accused is originally from Koppal. People had paid him assuming that they would get a BDA site. During the interrogation, we learnt that he had set a deadline for many people to pay ₹1 lakh by May 14 to get the certificates. He was planning to issue more fake certificates but the fraud came to light and he was arrested.”
The BDA Commissioner has asked people who have been duped in this scam to approach the Seshadripuram police to register complaints.