K Ponniah, an ex-servicemen, was declared a proclaimed offender in 2018, police said (Representational)
A 46-year-old man was arrested from Tamil Nadu for allegedly duping homebuyers of Rs 2.50 crores by luring them to invest in a housing project in southwest Delhi's Dwarka area, police said on Thursday.
K Ponniah, an ex-servicemen, was declared a proclaimed offender in 2018 after he fled to his native village in Tamil Nadu and did not join the probe related to this case despite issuance of several notices to him, they said.
He was arrested on Tuesday from a lodge in Puddukottai district of Tamil Nadu by a team of Economic Offences Wing (EOW), police said.
Joint Commissioner of Police (EOW) OP Mishra said the complainants were induced by the accused to invest in his housing firm namely Defence Personnel Welfare Housing Organisation (DPWHO) for a project which was to come up in Poachanpur village in Dwarka sector 23.
"He convinced investors about the project and told them that the construction had commenced and would be completed within the stipulated time.
"In 2014, complainants were offered residential units in tower 24B constructed by DPWHO. However, till 2016, the accused did not hand over the possession and in 2017, the complainants came to know that the flats booked by them had been sold to other people," he said.
After an initial enquiry, a case was registered in 2017 and was later transferred to the EOW in 2019, police said. During investigation, bank details were verified and relevant documents were also scrutinized.
It was revealed that Ponniah formed DPWHO in 2012. Thereafter he prepared a collaboration agreement with the land owning company to construct two towers -- 24A and 24B -- with 16 flats each, the senior police officer said.
As per the agreement, after completion of the buildings, tower 24 B will be owned by the company owning the land and tower 24 A will be owned by DPWHO.
However, Ponniah convinced the complainants and took booking for the flats that were in the tower No 24 B, which is owned by the land owing company, he said.
After the case was transferred to EOW in 2019, surveillance was mounted during which the police traced the location of the accused to Tiruchirrapalli but since he was not found there, the investigating team moved to his native place in Thiruvarur district.
Sensing police raids in his village, he escaped from Tiruchirapalli and reached Pudukottai and switched off all his phone numbers.
However, surveillance was also mounted on those whom he contacted and later a police team arrested the accused from a lodge in Pudukottai district where he had been hiding, the police added.
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