Mysterious book no. 544 and the case of false documents | Goa News

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Panaji: In 2021, a real estate developer from Bangalore got an offer he couldn’t refuse. The offer was for 3,350 m² of first ground to Assagao for Rs 12 crore.
The seller was a certain Chopdekar. But he did not participate in the negotiations. The only appeal he made to the Bengaluru developer was to inform him that his associate Ashok Gupta would handle the matter on his behalf.
Gupta quickly handed over the land documents which included the registration certificate, survey records and a Portuguese bill of sale.
The registration certificate was in the name of Sebastian Peres, the Portuguese cadastral registers also showed Sebastian Peres and even the government survey registers in Forms I and XIV had Sebastian Peres. But Gupta also had a Portuguese deed of sale signed in 1950 between Peres and Chopdekar, which was recorded in book No. 544 of notary P Menezes. The copy was obtained from the records department in 2004, Gupta said.
With all the paperwork in place, Gupta gave the Bengaluru developer an ultimatum: Finalize the deal or approach the others. In recent years, the Assagao Valley has seen land availability halve but prices have quadrupled.
But a careful examination of the papers by the promoter’s lawyer in Goa revealed three startling facts.
Had Chopdekar purchased the property in 1950, the Indian government survey conducted between 1973 and 1976 would have recorded Chopdekar’s name instead of Peres.
Also, the Portuguese deed of sale signed in 1950 mentioned the area of ​​the property according to forms I and XIV created in 1976. But the original Portuguese deeds of sale never mention the area, only the name of the property, the numbers land registry (if registered) and its boundaries.
And finally, Gupta’s copy of the bill of sale was stamped and signed by the archivist in 2004 on legal size paper. The archives service only issues documents on special gloss A4 format paper.
Gupta immediately pretended to ignore the forged documents, despite Chopdekar’s number not being in service.
The Peres family is not alone. The Noronha family are currently engaged in litigation as two of their properties – 1,000 sq m and 1,600 sq m – worth around Rs 9 crore were also fraudulently sold using two fabricated Portuguese bills of sale and both recorded in Book No. 544, the same book that has records between Peres and Chopdekar.
But when Noronha’s lawyer, who had also reviewed the Bengaluru promoter’s papers, approached the records department to search for Book No. 544, he was told no such book existed.
With many inquiries about this mysterious book #544, the records department had to put up a sign saying the book was non-existent.
But one thing scammers have in common is knowledge of the true owners and ownership history.
In the case of Analiz Rodrigues, who is currently based in Mumbai, the scammers knew that her ancestral property in Anjuna was once mortgaged to Joe Rangel. Thus, a Vishnu Samant fabricated a tripartite bill of sale involving Rodrigues, Rangel and his father, transferring ownership to his family.
The deed was passed on February 28, 1945 before the notary G Lobo in Bardez. All deeds of sale made before Lobo from February 19, 1945 to March 14, 1945 are recorded in book No. Bardez NTR 446/196.
But, on the day the deed was supposedly performed, Lobo never recorded any deed. The documents were fake.
(All names have been changed to protect their identities)
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