Three men were sentenced to five years’ rigorous imprisonment recently or cheating a gold trader of Rs2.35 crore by promising him gold at very cheap rate. In 2014, the accused had lured the complainant saying they will use their ‘contacts’ to clear gold items seized by customs department and will sell him at cheap rate. Unfortunately, no money could be recovered as the accused splurged it all.
According to Vile Parle police, the FIR was registered on June 24 in 2014 under IPC sections of 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 34 (common intention). The arrested accused Sadanandrao Ganna, 54, Sureshkumar Loda, 54 and Arvind Mehta, 60 have been convicted for criminal breach of trust and sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment. The three have also been convicted for cheating and sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment.
The imprisonment will not run concurrently and so the accused will have to spend five years in jail. Apart from that each of them will have to pay Rs 50,000 as fine. The punishment was awarded by magistrate Chaya Patil of Andheri magistrates court and assistant public prosecutor for the case was Anil Nandgiri.
The complainant Hirachand Gulecha, 52, is a gold trader and runs a shop in Zaveri Bazaar. Gulecha was introduced to main accused Ganna by Suresh Sharma, another accused against whom the order is pending as he has approached the high court. Sharma was a trusted friend of Gulecha. Ganna told Gulecha that he has contacts in the customs department and he can get him 15 to 18 kilograms of gold which was seized by the department from smugglers.
The police however found that they had no such plan and their intention was to cheat Gulecha. Second convict Loda ran a company named Fine Diamond and he permitted Ganna to open an office in Vile Parle and bank account in his company’s name. Ganna used to meet Gulecha at this office. Gulecha deposited a total of Rs 2.35 crore in the given bank account. Loda got Rs 60 lakh for allowing Ganna to use his company’s name.
Ganna told Gulecha that the third convict Arvind Mehta an agent in Chennai has contacts with the customs department. Mehta received Rs 1 crore from Ganna.
After giving the money there was no communication from Ganna for a week. When Gulecha went to his Vile Parle office it was locked. After realizing he has been duped he rushed to Vile Parle police station. “We could not make any recovery in the case as they splurged all the money on parties and hotels. They also paid all their debts,” said a police official.
Ganna was traced within 48 hours from Chennai and brought back. Ganna never got bail and has already spent over two years in jail. After the order the rest two accused were taken into custody. All three have been sent to Nashik jail.