33 Indian-Origin Singaporeans Cry Foul Over Chennai Land Deals

SINGAPORE: Thirty-three Singaporeans of Indian origin are crying foul over investment of 780,000 Singapore Dollars in an undeveloped land in Chennai, according to media reports.

The investors were drawn by visions of gleaming villas, upcoming infrastructure and returns of more than 100 per cent investment made between 2007 and 2011.

But now they are crying foul at Singapore-registered KMGM International which sold them the land. They own land of questionable value, which is hard to sell as it has not been developed and has hardly risen in value, reported The Sunday Times.

The investors want to sell the land back to KMGM. About 20 of them staged a walk-in on May 5 to confront KMGM director S Gulam at the firm’s premises, demanding assurances that they could sell back their land.

Mr Gulam was not there, but assured them by telephone that he would meet them on May 16. But, on May 13, the investors received letters saying that the matter would be handled through his lawyers at Advaitha Law Corporation, according to the Singapore weekly.

Advaitha director GB Vasudeven told The Sunday Times that his client was ready to obtain valuations for each of the investors’ land parcels, but declined to disclose any further course of action.

He added that he has written to the 33 to say that if they try to enter KMGM’s offices again, they will be reported to the police as trespassers.

20 investors have since gone on to make police reports against KMGM.

The group of 33 had bought 45 plots of land, each a few thousand sq ft in size, in Chennai.

Mostly in their 50s and 60s, the investors said they trusted KMGM because it is a Singaporean firm and its directors, lawyer R Kalamohan and Mr Gulam, a former journalist, are well-regarded members of the Indian community.

Retired navy officer Anandam Thomas, 62, bought two plots of land for about 41,470 Singapore Dollars in 2008.

“My father was from India, and I wanted a little piece of India for myself,” he said.