THE THANE Economic Offence Wing (EOW) on Saturday claimed that owners of Goodwin Jewellers have duped over 700 people of around Rs 21 crore.
“We have registered several FIRs and taken the statements of over 700 people from Thane, Dombivali and Kalyan, who had invested money in various schemes of Goodwin Jewellers. We have evidence to prove that the owners knew about the poor economic condition of the stores and still kept on taking money with the intention of cheating the customers,” a senior EOW officer said, adding that the duped customers have lost around Rs 21 crore overall.
Around a month after Goodwin Jewellers shut down the firm’s 12 branches and allegedly disappeared with customers’ deposits, police are yet to make any arrests. Several FIRs have been registered in police stations across Thane, Navi Mumbai and Palghar against owners A M Sudheeshkumar and A M Sunilkumar and others officials. All are on the run.
“The owners have released small videos on social networking sites, but we are still trying to trace their location,” the officer said. He added that police teams have been sent to Bengaluru, Kerala and other cities to trace the accused. The Thane Police has issued a lookout notice against Sunilkumar on Tuesday to deter the him from fleeing the country.
“We are following some leads. The accused would be arrested soon,” a senior officer said.
The entire incident came to light when several customers, who had invested money in a monthly deposit scheme with the firm, approached the police claiming that stores of Goodwin Jewellers have shut down around the same time they were supposed to get their money and gold back.
As of now, two flats and a Mercedes car belonging to the owners have been seized by the Thane Police, even as Palghar Police has begun investigation under the MPID Act. The Navi Mumbai Police, which had booked Sudheeshkumar in 2016 for allegedly attempting to murder his wife, has also started investigation in the case. “Some of their relatives live in Nerul and Vashi. We will interrogate them,” said a senior police officer.