More than a month after Bengaluru police registered a cheating case against real estate agency Homigo, the company’s three founders — Jatin Mitruka, Aaskash Verma and Nikunj Batheja—all alumni of IIT-Kanpur, continue to remain absconding.
Along with the three founders, one of the investors Chaitanya Cotha, part of Krishnaiah Chetty group, has also managed to evade arrest.
This despite the Central Crime Branch of Bengaluru being given the responsibility to probe the case after multiple FIRs were registered against the company at various police stations in the city. Assistant Commissioner of Police Laxmi Narayan, who is the investigating officer, refused to comment.
A source confirmed that anticipatory bail for all four has been rejected by a local court.
While the first case was registered on March 7 in Mico Layout Police Station by one of the customers, many other FIRs were registered at different police stations across the city. Based on this, City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar had transferred the case to the Central Crime Branch police station.
Homigo worked on a model where they leased properties or apartments and sub-leased it to a customer after furnishing, by charging a premium. The company had raised funding from multiple investors such as Mebelkart and Livespace. According to its website, it was operating 32 properties across the city.
TNM had earlier reported how the agency courted controversy after the founders went incommunicado and started defaulting on their payments.
In mid-March, residents living in Homigo’s properties on a lease or a rental basis, were suddenly asked to vacate their homes by the property owners. This is because Homigo failed to pay the original property owners their due.
In addition to losing their homes, the tenants are also at risk of losing their deposit and lease money. Security deposits up to Rs 50,000– and for some, lease amounts to the tune of lakhs – are with Homigo. Other than those living in the properties leased by Homigo, many service providers and blue collar staff employed by Homigo have also been left unpaid for more than two months in some cases.
Article source: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/bengaluru-housing-fraud-homigo-s-founders-investor-absconding-over-month-100577