Police have launched a search operation to nab a jeweller who allegedly decamped with gold and money of around 90 people mostly belonging to the fishing community in Mahul village,Chembur. The total value of the gold and money amount to Rs 2 crore,the police said.
The accused has been identified as Uttamkumar Malla alias Rajubhai Sonar. According to the RCF police,he has been operating in Mahul since 2008.
Malla would sell gold at very low rates to the residents of Mahul,who mostly belong to the fishing community. Over the years,he earned their trust. They started buying jewellery only from him. People in need of money would mortgage or sell their jewellery to him. He always gave them a good deal, said an officer with the RCF police station.
Last week,Malla collected jewellery by going door-to-door. He told the residents that he was collecting samples so that he could show a variety of designs to his new clients. While some of his old customers had given him jewellery to modify the design,some others had paid him in advance to get jewellery made. However,his customers discovered on Sunday that his shop was closed and he could not be contacted on his cellphone either.
The news of his disappearance spread. People started coming to the police station. As we started taking complaints,we realised the number of victims has gone up to nearly 90. While most of them are from Mahul,some others are from neighbouring areas. We have registered complaints of criminal breach of trust and cheating under sections 406 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code, said senior police inspector Dilip Yadav,RCF police station.
Yadav added that Malla was last seen at around 4 am Sunday before he disappeared. His cellphone is also switched off. Meanwhile,a police team has been sent to Mallas native place in West Bengal to find out if he has taken refuge there. Police are also quizzing his acquaintances to gain a clue on his whereabouts.