In just 10 years, 128 cases of land fraud in the state | Goa News

Panaji: While not much is said about alleged land scams in the state, Goa police data reveals a shocking truth. There are 128 cases of land scams registered in the state over the past 10 years and of these more than half are in Porvorim and Mapusa de Bardez taluka.
Of the 128 cases of land fraud registered in the state, 73 are reported in the jurisdiction of Mapusa and the Porvorim Police Station. On average, 10 cases of land fraud are reported each year across the state.
A senior police officer said most owners were unaware their properties had been sold or that the owners’ names had been changed. The officer did not rule out the possibility that a state-operating union would seize the land of those who do not stay in the state. “Citizens who have settled abroad and own unsupervised property in Goa are on the radar of this organized union specializing in the grabbing of ancestral property,” said the senior police official.
In most cases, the accused identifies the land and creates false ownership papers. The property is then sold to a colleague of the accused before the same property is finally sold to a third party. Police said some people were able to halt the transaction when they read notices in local newspapers of people claiming the property.
The officer said that in addition to criminal complaints, there were also civil lawsuits pending in the courts in false property cases.
In many cases, the real owner of the property is made aware of the sale of the property when out-of-state buyers begin construction on the land or when renovations are initiated on ancestral homes.
There have been cases where mutations were made quickly. TOI has reported numerous incidents of properties in prime locations being sold by an impersonator.
A case of land grabbing in the Porvorim region through document forgery made the news in December 2013 when the first Arjuna Prize winner in Goa, Dr Otilia Mascarenhas, fell prey to racketeering. Mascarehnas, orthopedic surgeon super-specialized in sports medicine, practices in Germany. His property was sold by an impersonator on behalf of his late uncle José Fernandes.

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