IIT Kanpur graduates and Homingo app founders cheat property proprietors, vanish

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BENGALURU: Over a span of 5 years, three IIT Kanpur graduates – Nikung Bhatija, Jatin Mitruka, and Aakash Verma — made lives of extra than five,000 humans secure with their new startup, Domingo, an internet platform to hire furnished places on flexible phrases to young running professionals and college students.
Now, more than three,000 residents throughout the metropolis are left with both no houses to live, no rooms or beds. Looking at the spiral inside the range of court cases received, the jurisdictional police transferred the case to Central Crime Branch sleuths.
“They have cheated many human beings, we got 15 to twenty lawsuits in the beyond two weeks, other than the ones registered with numerous police stations across the metropolis. We assume extra humans to come back forward,” said Girish S, DCP (Crime), who’s investigating the case.
The accused, who set up the startup in 2015, went lacking this March. They had leased extra than a hundred houses, wherein they might rent beds, rooms or the entire residence. They worked on a version wherein they leased houses or residences and sub-leased them to customers after furnishing them. The company had raised its funding from traders such as Mebelkart and Live space. The tenants realized this when they did not get back their security deposit of Rs 50,000 or rent amounts running into lakhs of rupees, at the give up of the rental/ hire length. In a few cases, the tenants have been requested to depart.
“The employer turned into now not returning our calls. We were staying at ‘Homigo Cinzel’ in Sarjapur and have been asked through the authentic property owner to vacate the residences with the aid of March 20. We tried calling the Homigo guys and additionally despatched an email. While some were given a response announcing that they’ll be “unavailable” for 2 months, numerous others’ calls went unattended,” said an affected purchaser who has also misplaced a deposit of Rs 50,000. The corporation has no longer simply cheated tenants but also hire holders and many lenders.
For instance, Amit Purohit, a creditor of Homigo, shared that he is one in all the biggest on-books creditor of Domingo, with stocks really worth lakhs of rupees, a Rs 1 crore mortgage to the organization and had also given furniture worth Rs 3.Five crore on lease. “We have condo dues of over Rs 50 lakh. Our equity money and loan is long past and we additionally were given an injunction fit from the HC, so that our furnishings isn’t always taken away. Unfortunately, many miscreants and ex-personnel have taken gain of the situation and the usage of duplicate keys to a house in Indiranagar, stolen appliances and the TV,” Amit Purohit shared.
With no choice left, those who’ve been cheated have fashioned a Facebook group ‘Action against Homigo’, comprising 705 individuals. There are lenders, tenants, hire givers and also employees of Homigo at the organization. “People do no longer have flats to live. There are many who have leased flats, and now the owner is saying a brand new settlement can be drawn up without delay with them, however, they should pay a rent quantity of Rs 17 lakh. From in which can we get that money?” said a tenant from an HSR Homigo house.
Tenants are continuously coming forward from distinctive Homigo-rented residences with their complaints, so the fraud is but to be assessed. However, based totally on police complaints and people’s inputs, the startup allegedly cheated them of as much as Rs 20 crore. The enterprise’s workplace in BTM Layout, Bengaluru, has been locked on the grounds that March first week and all employees had been passed red slips.

Geneva A. Crawford

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