A 39-year-old employee of a diamond polishing factory in Mumbai was arrested on Saturday for sneaking out gemstones worth Rs 1.5 crore over the past two months.
The accused, Vijay Chavan, claimed he needed the money for the treatment of his wife, who is suffering from cancer, the police said.
The theft was discovered recently, after the security in-charge checked the CCTV footage of the company. Chavan has been working at Jewelex India Private Limited for the last two years, and lives with his wife and two children at Vile Parle.
According to the police, Chavan started stealing diamonds in small batches around two months ago. He first stole a few diamonds and hid them in the lower pocket of his pants. While leaving, the security guard frisked him but did not check his lower pockets.
Emboldened, Chavan decided to continue stealing the diamonds, said the police. He would pocket some stones while polishing them. Collectively, he has stolen diamonds worth Rs 1.5 crore, his employers told the police.
“He would steal every day. Because he managed to get away with the theft, he had become bold. It was only when the company’s supervisor checked the CCTV footage that the theft was discovered,” said Namdeo Gule, assistant inspector at the MIDC police station.
The supervisor alerted his superiors and the police was informed soon after. The police reviewed the CCTV footage and took Chavan into custody.
During interrogation, he confessed to stealing the valuable gems. The police are investigating if Chavan sold all the diamonds or he still has them with him.
The police said Chavan’s wife suffers from cancer and his salary of Rs 10,000 per month was not enough to pay for her medical expenses. He, however, did not ask for help from his employer, said the police.
Chavan has been booked under section 381of the Indian Penal Code (theft by servant) and placed under arrest. He will be produced before a holiday court on Sunday.