Lured by ad for affordable flats in B'lore, IAF officer pays deposit, only to see firm do a vanishing act

Bangaloreans are not the only ones to have been allegedly cheated by controversial property firm Orange Construction and Infrastructure.

An air force officer from Delhi is reportedly the latest among many others from across the country to lose their deposits on flats that were offered cheap but which they never got.

Orange offered affordable residential sites and flats to hundreds of people and allegedly made crores by never delivering on its promise.

Some time ago Orange was directed by Police Commissioner S M Bidari to return the deposits, but many are still waiting for the refund.

Bidari had also asked victims to file complaints against the company and warned the company of strict action if it failed to refund people's money.

The latest victim, Indian Air Force officer Ashutosh Dixit from Noida (Uttar Pradesh), near Delhi, had approached the company after reading a property advertisement by Orange in a leading daily.

The advertisement had offered flats near Devanahalli in December 2008.

Dixit contacted the company and came to the city on its invitation to inspect the flats. Company executives showed him a flat and promised to get it registered if he liked it.

Falling for it

Pleased with the offer, Dixit paid Rs 3.17 lakh by way of deposit. He was asked to pay monthly instalments of Rs 5,000 to cover the remaining cost of the flat.

Dixit returned home, but the next time he tried to contact the Orange office to clarify some doubts, he was surprised to find all phone lines disconnected.

He tried the mobile numbers of the executives, and found them not working. Dixit came to Bangalore and found the Orange office locked, and soon learned about the alleged scam the company was involved in.

Dixit filed a complaint with the Ashok Nagar police, saying the company had cheated not only him but also many people in Delhi and other places.

Loot and scoot
>>Aggressive advertising
Orange Construction and Infrastructure would place ads in newspapers offering flats at greatly slashed prices in Bangalore at a time when property prices had gone through the roof and attract hundreds of people dreaming of a home.

>>EMI option to floor 'em
Company executives would actually arrange visits to flats. They would tell prospective buyers they could pay a deposit of a few lakh rupees and make good the rest of the property cost by paying in monthly instalments.

>>Going incommunicado
Once the deposit was with the company, it would cut off all contact with the buyers. Phone calls would not be answered, the office would be locked, and the buyer would finally come to realise that he had been had.