Economic Offences Wing of Thane Crime Branch arrest jeweller for running Ponzi scheme, cheating customers

EOW arrest owner of VGN Jewellers, a well-known jewellery chain in the Thane district, for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme and cheating its customers to the tune of more than 7Cr; inquiries are going on against the wife of the jeweller
EOW of Thane arrest jeweller for running Ponzi scheme, cheating customers. (HT FILE)
EOW of Thane arrest jeweller for running Ponzi scheme, cheating customers. (HT FILE)
Published on Oct 07, 2021 08:22 PM IST
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ByGautam S. Mengle, Thane

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Thane Crime Branch has arrested the owner of VGN Jewellers, a well-known jewellery chain in the Thane district, for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme and cheating its customers to the tune of more than 7Cr.

According to EOW officials, the owners of VGN jewellers, Virithgopalan Nair and his wife Valsala, ran their racket from 2006 to 2021, during which time they lured their customers into investing money in a variety of schemes, promising impossibly high returns.

The accused had jewellery stores in Dombivli, Ulhasnagar and Mulund as well as a finance company in Kalyan, which were all allegedly used in the offence. During this time, they used the money received from new investors to pay the old ones, EOW officials said.

Finally, when they were unable to pay profits or return the base amount of 7.99Cr paid to them by 13 investors, an FIR was registered against them with the Kolsewadi police station in Kalyan. The couple was booked for cheating and criminal breach of trust under the Indian Penal Code, along with relevant sections of the Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors (MPID) Act, and the case was subsequently transferred to the EOW for further inquiries.

The invoking of the MPID Act is significant because it empowers the investigating agency to attach assets of the accused to reimburse the victims of financial crimes.

“After completion of preliminary inquiries, Nair was placed under arrest on Tuesday evening. Inquiries are still under way against his wife. We appeal to any other customers or investors who might have been cheated by the accused to approach us immediately and register a complaint,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (EOW), Sunil Lokhande, said.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021