Maharashtra: Jewellery firm MD arrested, 3 offices attached for duping investors of at least Rs 8 crore

So far, 40 investors have approached the police alleging that they have been cheated of Rs 15 crore

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Thane Police arrested the Managing Director of a jewellery firm Tuesday for allegedly duping at least 13 investors to the tune of Rs 8 crore by taking investments from them promising unrealistic returns.

The police said Virath Gopalan Nair, managing director of VGN jewelers, got about 50,000 investors to partake in the scheme out of which 40 have approached them so far alleging that they have been duped of Rs 15 crore. A process is underway to record their statements.

“Nair was produced before a magistrate court after his arrest and has been remanded to EOW’s custody till October 9,” said Sunil Lokhande, DCP, EOW. So far, the EOW has attached three offices of Nair at Kalyan, Ulhasnagar and Mulund, he added. His bank accounts have been frozen too but cops said it had only around Rs 9 lakh.

The 13 investors had registered an FIR against him at Kolsewadi police station. Since a huge amount is involved, the case has been transferred to the EOW. Nair has been booked for cheating and criminal breach of trust under sections of the IPC and the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act.

Nair told police that he invested all his clients’ money in gold trading, share market and his own chit fund. The police are trying to determine if he invested in real estate and are making enquiries regarding the properties in his ownership so that they can be attached to recover the investors’ money.

The company’s main office is in Kastubh complex on Pune Link Road in Kalyan (East). Nair has been collecting investments from the public from 2006 to 2021. As per one of the schemes, the investor had to pay Rs 500 per month for a year and would get Rs 14,000 or gold worth the amount. He also promised 15 per cent interest on fixed deposits for one to five years.

Nair, who hails from Kerala, has been a jeweller in the city for decades and had earned the trust of several Malayalis who invested their money with him.

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