Fake ED officials raid bullion trader, flee with gold, cash worth 1.95 crore

Published on Jan 25, 2023 01:12 AM IST

Mumbai: In what could be a scene from Akshay Kumar-starrer Special 26; six persons raided a bullion trader’s office in Zaveri Bazaar posing as Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers and fled with cash and jewellery worth ₹1

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ByVinay Dalvi

Mumbai: In what could be a scene from Akshay Kumar-starrer Special 26; six persons raided a bullion trader’s office in Zaveri Bazaar posing as Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers and fled with cash and jewellery worth 1.95 crore.

According to the LT Marg police, the accused came asking for one of the co-owners of the jewellery firm. Claiming that it was an ED raid, some of them assaulted employees, handcuffed them before fleeing with the valuables.

The LT Marg police arrested three of the six accused, identified as Mohammed Fazal Siddiqui Gilitwala, 50, a Dongri resident, Mohammed Razi Ahmed Mohammad Raffique alias Sameer, 37, a Malwani resident, and Vishaka Mudhale, 30, a house-wife from Khed in Ratnagiri district in Konkan.

Police officials said two of the six people entered the new office of VBL Bullion at Nashta Lane in Zaveri Bazaar and two others including a woman, entered the old office of the firm. The remaining two waited outside to keep an eye on the surrounding.

“As they entered the new office of the bullion company, one of them slapped Dashrath Mali an employee of the firm, whereas the other inquired with other staff members, by posing as ED officials. The duo told them that it was an ED raid. They started asking for Virat Bhai aka Virat Mali - the partner of the firm,” said Dr Abhinav Deshmukh, deputy commissioner of police, Zone II.

“When they were told that Virat Bhai was not around, they asked everybody to surrender their mobile phones. They started checking all the cupboards and pockets of employees and found around three kilograms of gold, amount of 25 lakh in cash and four mobiles handsets. They asked the employees to bring the documents for the same and handcuffed one of the employees and took them to the old office of the company which was just nearby,” Deshmukh added.

The officer said once they reached the old office, the woman and her companion male “ED” officers questioned the firm’s manager Vijaybhai Shah.

“The woman then asked the others to remove the handcuff of the employee and asked them to leave the premises. The fake ED officials then fled from the spot along with the gold and the cash,” said Sushilkumar Vanjari, assistant police inspector of L T Marg police station.

The employees then informed Virat Mali, who had gone to Jalore in Rajasthan, about the entire episode. They discussed about it with other jewellers and suspected some foul play and eventually approached the police and reported the incident.

“We have registered a case under sections 394 for (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 506 (2) criminal intimdation and 120 (B) (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the fake ED officials,” said Deshmukh.

The police, through CCTV footage and technical analysis, learnt about the involvement of six accused in the fake ED raid. “We then picked Gilitwala from Dongri. He had one past case registered against him, Razi from Malwani and Mudhale from Khed. She, too, has a cheque bouncing case registered against her,” said Deshmukh.

“We are searching for three more of their accomplices and teams are following certain leads to track them. We have already recovered 2.5 kilograms of the stolen gold and cash of 15 lakh,” he added.

The accused told the police they were planning the move since past two weeks and were motivated by watching cinemas.

“We are at a very primary stage of investigation as we have just arrested them and have got their police custody for seven days,” said Deshmukh. The officer said the accused are not educated enough to write ED properly, but were inspired by the agency’s action.

The police said the accused had purchased the handcuff online. The police are also checking if any insider or employee of the firm was involved in the fake raid.

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