Gold valuer arrested for duping bank of 53 lakh

Published on Jan 25, 2023 01:12 AM IST

Between April 2022 and January 2023, Model Co-op. Bank had received six applications from couples who were interested in mortgaging their gold jewellery for availing loans, bank’s manager Savio Montero said in his complaint

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ByMegha Sood, Mumbai

A gold valuer was arrested on Monday for allegedly cheating a Malad-based bank of 53 lakh after inflating the value of the jewellery mortgaged by six customers. The accused, identified as Sapna Bhatt, 63, is a resident of Mira Road.

Between April 2022 and January 2023, Model Co-op. Bank had received six applications from couples who were interested in mortgaging their gold jewellery for availing loans, bank’s manager Savio Montero said in his complaint.

Montero said they had appointed Bahuchar Enterprises, owned by Bhatt, to authenticate the mortgaged gold, ascertain its value, and inform the bank of the customer’s loan eligibility.

“Bhatt took bribes from the customers to show an inflated value of their gold and had the bank sanction 53 lakh in loans to them,” Ravi Adane, senior police inspector at Malad police station, said.

The complainant also said after the customers failed to pay a few instalments, the bank tried to contact them but in vain.

The bank then seized the mortgaged gold and, on its revaluation, it found out that the jewellery was not even worth 20 lakh.

“On January 6, Montero approached us and based on his complaint we registered an FIR against Bhatt,” Adane said.

When a police team went to Mira Road it did not find Bhatt because she had shifted elsewhere.

“We finally tracked down Bhatt in Kandivali on Monday. She was arrested on charges of cheating and forgery,” Adane added.

Police officers said there were two more cases registered against Bhatt.

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