In search of a stolen Chopard diamond necklace — a luxury Swiss jewellery and watch label — Delhi Police went on a week-long wild goose chase that led them to UP, Bihar and Jharkhand where they found the Rs 20 lakh necklace and the 22-year-old woman who made off with it.
Police said the woman worked as a cook for a couple who live in Greater Kailash II and allegedly stole the necklace, two pairs of earrings worth Rs 20,000, five gold coins, and Rs 4 lakh in cash. She “distributed” Rs 2 lakh to her mother, mother-in-law, friends, and also loaned some money to an acquaintance.
“On November 14, a PCR call was made by Shamsudeen Macheri Paramba regarding theft of jewellery and money to the tune of above Rs 24 lakh, when he and his wife had gone out for dinner. When they returned, their house help told them that the cook left after they did… a man later called and said the cook will not be coming back,” said Additional DCP (South) Parvinder Singh.
A police team found that the woman had been working as a full-time cook at the home for over 50 days, and that her police verification had been completed by the placement agency from where she was hired.
Set up in the mid-19th century, the Swiss label throws the coveted Chopard party at the Cannes film festival every year. Chopard jewels are worn by A-listers from across the world at red-carpet events.
Paramba’s pregnant wife told The Indian Express, “I usually keep the necklace in a biometric locker at our house. My husband gifted it to me last year on my birthday; I took it out on November 12 to wear for my birthday. Instead of putting it back in the biometric locker, I kept it in another locker. On November 13, my husband and I went for dinner at 9 pm and returned around midnight to find the cook missing, along with the money and jewellery.”
She said the cook lived in the house and had gained their trust. “For 2-3 days when the house help was on leave, she helped me out in my room as I am pregnant. She probably saw the lockers then,” said Paramba’s wife.
An officer said, “The cook’s phone was switched off. We approached the placement agency and found that her mother lives in UP’s Khurja. When we got there, she told us her daughter visited a few days ago and left behind some money, and that she might be at her in-laws’ house in Bihar.”
“The team then left for Bihar, where the accused’s mother-in-law too repeated the same story and said she might be in Jamshedpur where her husband and son live. They then left for Jamshedpur, where the woman was arrested. Her husband was not involved in this. She said she wanted to lead a lavish lifestyle and buy some land,” said Singh.