Delegation to advise NRIs on 'property scandal'
Manama, May 27, 2011
An Indian government delegation has arrived in Bahrain to advise non-resident Indians (NRIs) on the latest update on an alleged multi-million dinar property scandal.
Karnataka legislative council member and NRI Forum deputy chairman Captain Ganesh Karnik has invited customers of former Gulf-based realtor Joseph Chacko to call him to arrange a meeting.
Capt Karnik will be available at the Monroe Hotel on Sunday and Monday and can be contacted on 17296699 or 36733300.
Crowne Plaza International Hotels and Resorts owner Mr Chacko was arrested in June 2009 after allegedly cheating around 100 NRIs out of substantial sums of money.
Among those to fell victim to his alleged scams were dozens of Indian nationals living in Bahrain.
Chacko allegedly sold apartments and plots of land to expatriate Indians across the Gulf and sold them on without telling them.
The businessman, from Kerala but now settled in Bangalore, is also accused of duping poor Indians in his own country of giving him power of attorney to sell their land - then not paying them.
Investors claim that at least BD20 million was invested from Bahrain, but that many are reluctant to come forward.
Chacko first came to Bahrain in 1999 to market properties and then re-visited several times up until 2003.
It is understood the businessman moved from India to Kuwait in 1995 and secured residency there.
He began developing several residential layouts in Bangalore exclusively for NRIs in the Gulf, the UK, the US, South Africa and elsewhere.
Bangalore-based Crowne Plaza International Hotels and Resorts has no connection with Crowne Plaza Bahrain.
Capt Karnik, who previously visited Bahrain in April last year, maintains the Bahrain-based investments are safe and that all properties sold in various layouts to NRIs in Bangalore by Mr Chacko are legal and genuine.
Capt Karnik said he was in Bahrain to look after the interest of NRI investors to create a sense of confidence in the minds of NRIs that their land is safe.
He claimed that as per the government investigations into the case, all land dealings and transactions undertaken by Mr Chacko were found to be legal.
"All the investor has to do is to take the possession of their land physically, pay the taxes and make all documents update," he said, before advising investors not to leave the land lying idle for too long.-TradeArabia News Service