Pune jeweller duped of ₹27.31 crore by own manager
The Aurangabad police have arrested the manager of Aurangabad branch of Vaman Hari Pethe Jewellers and three other employees of the prominent Mumbai-based gold firm for stealing 58 kilogrammes of gold estimated to be ₹27.31 crore.
The jewellers have branches in Pune and other parts of Maharashtra.
The accused have been identified as Ankur Anant Rane (manager); Rajendra Kisanlal Jain (29), a resident of Samarthanagar; Lokesh Pawankumar Jain (21), a resident of Nirala Bazaar and Bharti Rajendra Jain on charges of cheating the jeweller on various occasions between 2017 and June 2019.
Though the crime has taken place more than a year ago, an official first information report (FIR) was registered by owner Vishwanath Prakash Pethe, a resident of Chittaranjan road in Vile Parle, at Kranti chowk police station on Thursday. The Economic Offences Wing incharge police inspector Srikant Nawale said that the jewellery shop was set up in Samarthanagar nine years ago and Rane has been the shop manager since its inception.
“He has been associated with Pethe for past 15 years and was the most trusted employee. He had the supervisory powers of buying and selling gold and depositing cash in the bank. He had standing instructions that no customer be permitted to take ornaments outside the shop to see them and not lending gold ornament to any customers,” he said.
Nawale said that despite instructions, Rane stole gold ornaments and handed them over to the trio. “Rane gave 58 kgs of gold ornaments to the three accused between 2017 and 2019. The theft came to light when one of the employees informed Vishwanath Pethe that there were less ornaments in the store. Pethe questioned Rane over the issue to which he said that he gave the ornaments to Rajendra, who was a prestigious customer of the firm. Pethe gave a complaint to Aurangabad police commissioner who directed the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to probe the case and arrest all the accused,” Nawale said.
Explaining the modus operandi of stealing, Nawale said that Rane prepared fake bills to hide transactions and portrayed them as bonafide bills. “The bills have been confiscated and relevant sections have been invoked against the accused,” said DCP Deepali Dhate-Ghatge of Aurangabad police.