Investors panic as Goodwin Jewellers shut many branches without warningUpdated: Oct 27, 2019, 00:41 IST
The owners of a chain of jewellery stores have been accused of cheating and criminal breach of trust after 29 customers filed a complaint on Saturday at Ramnagar police station, alleging they have lost investments worth ₹1.80 crore. A first information report (FIR) names M Suneel Kumar, chairman of Goodwin Group; managing director, M Sudheer Kumar; and Manish Kundi, manager of the Dombivli branch of Goodwin Jewellers as the accused.
Goodwin Jewellery Group has 12 branches in Thane, Navi Mumbai, Mumbai and Kerala, many of which are now shut.Customers complained that the Goodwin Jewellers branch on Manpada Road in Dombivli (East) has been shut since Tuesday. Protests were first held outside Goodwin Jewellers in Thane’s Talao Pali on Friday evening. On Saturday, hundreds protested outside Goodwin Jewellers in Dombivli. When the police arrived, customers filed a formal complaint.
HT tried to contact Suneel Kumar, who could not be reached on phone.
Senior inspector of Ramnagar police station SP Aaher said, “We have registered a case against the owners and manager after a complaint was lodged by the customers. We have also sealed the store [in Dombivli]. We are also trying to reach out to the owners.” Sudheer and Suneel are brothers and the police have searched their residence in Palava City. “We learnt that they have left with all their belongings,” said Aaher.
Founded in the mid-1990s by the Kumar brothers in Kerala, the Goodwin Group came to Mumbai in 2004. The Dombivli branch of Goodwin Jewellers was set up seven years ago. Apart from selling gold and silver, Goodwin Jewellers also ran schemes in which customers paid instalments every month and at the end of a specified period, received a bonus.
Shashikumar, 65, a resident of Kalyan (West), said, “My family has deposited ₹1.5 lakh as fixed deposit with them.” Another customer, Sanjay Biswas, 44, said he had invested ₹10 lakh. Nerul-based Jay Nair, 48, said, “I had invested ₹9.5 lakh in the fixed deposit scheme last year. I was assured that I would get 18% interest after one year and 20% interest in the second year.”