Will return in 45 days: Goodwin owner
While the economic offences wing (EOW) of Thane Police is probing the disappearance of Sunil Kumar and Sudesh Kumar, founders of Goodwin Jewellery Group, Sunil Kumar told Hindustan Times that the Kumar brothers would return to Mumbai in 45 days. More than 1,000 complaints from customers and investors have been filed against the Kumar brothers.
Operations at 13 branches of Goodwin Jewellers in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) were suspended without warning last week, leaving customers and investors in a state of panic about their investments. In addition to selling gold and silver, Goodwin Jewellers also ran investment schemes.
A case was registered on October 26, following multiple complaints from customers and investors. The Kumar brothers have been charged under sections 420 (cheating) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code and under relevant sections of Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act. The two are absconding and the police have issued a look-out notice against them.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Sunil Kumar, chairman of Goodwin group, said he and his brother intended to fight back legally. “It will take at least two months for us to fight legally and get the permission to open the stores, which are sealed,” he said. Branches of Goodwin Jewellers were sealed after customers and depositors started filing police complaints from October 26 onwards.
“We will initially open two to four stores and start our operations. This will take around 45 days. We have already initiated the legal process,” said Kumar, who has claimed that he and his brother were victims of a dispute involving a builder. He also said that he and his brother would ensure those who had invested with Goodwin Jewellers recovered their money. “We have assets in Kerala which we will sell and help our investors get the money back,” he said. “We will soon hold a meeting with some of our depositors to help them know our state and how badly we want to help all the investors to get their money back. We cannot leave Mumbai and Maharashtra where we have worked for 23 years,” he said. Kumar refused to disclose his current location.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the EOW searched two residential flats owned by the Kumar brothers at Palava City in Dombivli. “They have only left household articles and clothes behind,” said Shankar Chindarkar, police inspector, EOW, Thane. Searches will also be carried out at the 13 outlets of Goodwin Jewellers in Mumbai.
On Tuesday night, Ramnagar Police seized a high-end car that belongs to the Kumars. They allegedly gave the car to an investor to whom they owed ₹70 lakh. However, Kumar denied this allegation and said they had parked it at the investor’s residence for safekeeping.
Though the case has been handed over to the EOW, clients and investors of Goodwin Jewellers are still lodging police complaints against the Kumar brothers. “Till noon on Wednesday, we received 172 complaints, with investors claiming a loss of ₹3.08 crore,” said Anil Mangle, senior inspector, Naupada police station.