Gamdevi police have traced 31 high-value paintings purportedly stolen from the Mafatlal Bungalow to two different flats owned by a friend of Sheetal Mafatlal, wife of industrialist Atulya Mafatlal.
Acting on a complaint by Atulya's daughter Marushka, police found 21 paintings at a flat in Parishram Premises Co-operative Housing Society at Pali Hill, Bandra. The others were kept at a flat in Gitanjali Building in Khar.
Both flats are owned by Yasmin Mohammed Yunus Walabhai, a friend of Sheetal Mafatlal. The police have forbidden both, Sheetal and Yasmin from removing or disposing the paintings in any way.
As per the Gamdevi police, Sheetal stated that she removed all paintings on July 11 as she wanted to go to London, where her husband is receiving treatment. The paintings were first taken to Fine Arts Warehousing and Logistics at Wadala, and were moved to the flats on July 19.
So far, the police have recorded statements of 18 witnesses, including Peter William Joseph Vas, one of the directors of Matulya Trading and Investments Ltd. Vas has filed a petition with the Bombay high court seeking registration of an FIR against Sheetal for allegedly stealing a Manjit Bawa painting worth over Rs 2 crore, which belonged to the company.
Acting on Vaz's petition, the division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice Abhay Thipsay, on Wednesday, directed Sheetal and the Gamdevi police to file their affidavits.