The owners Sunilkumar and Sudheerkumar. (Express Photo by Deepak Joshi)
NEARLY THREE months after they shut down 12 showrooms and fled with Rs 25 crore worth of their investors’ money, the promoters of Goodwin Jewellers were arrested on Friday afternoon outside a Thane court, where they allegedly planned to surrender.
Sanjay Jadhav, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Economic Offences Wing and Cyber Cell), said that the firm’s chairman A M Sunilkumar and managing director A M Sudhirkumar were arrested at 3 pm. The two brothers have been accused of duping 1,154 investors in Thane of Rs 25 crore.
Hundreds of customers of the chain were left high and dry after it shut its outlets in several cities in Maharashtra, including Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and Palghar — where the firm operates 12 showrooms — around Diwali. Many had invested in various schemes of the chain that offered high returns.
On October 21, notices appeared outside shuttered showrooms claiming that the stores would be shut for two days. By then, the police said, the brothers had already fled Mahrashtra along with their families. Amid multiple complaints and growing anger among investors, the brothers released videos on social media denying having fled with the deposits and promising to return the money soon.
Following their disappearance, multiple police teams looked for the promoters in their native district of Thrissur in Kerala. The police also attached their bank accounts, shops, homes, farm houses, agricultural land and several luxury cars. “We had created so much pressure on them that they had to surrender sooner or later. We will produce them in court on Saturday and seek their custody,” said Jadhav.
Apart from sections of Indian Penal Code for cheating, the two brothers were also charged under provisions of the Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors in Financial Establishments (MPID) Act.