THE THANE Economic Offence Wing (EOW) has conducted searches at the Dombivali and Thane-based showrooms of Goodwin Jewellers on Friday and Saturday and also interrogated the staff. While the police found the shops bereft of any gold ornaments, two teams are allegedly close to tracing the accused in Kerala and Bengaluru.
“The shops had been sealed and had no ornaments. We have seized the ledger, hard drives and other items,” a senior officer from Thane police said.
The police also interrogated the staff members, who all claimed innocence. “The sales staff and other lower-level employees said they don’t know why the shops have been shut. The storeowners had employed women to get more people to invest in the monthly schemes. We are going to question them,” the officer added.
Meanwhile, brothers A M Sunilkumar and A M Sudheeshkumar — the owners of Goodwin Jewellers who are absconding — have allegedly released an audio clip, promising that all investors will get their money back, though in a few years. In the purported clip, the brothers said that since “the police were now involved”, it would take them “three to four years” to pay their customers back.
The entire incident had come to light when several customers, who had invested money in a monthly deposit scheme offered by Goodwin Jewellers, approached the police claiming that showrooms had shuttered down around the same time when they were supposed to get their money and gold.
Various police stations across Thane, Navi Mumbai and Palghar have registered FIRs against the brothers and others for allegedly cheating the customers. The Thane police had issued lookout notice against Sunilkumar on Tuesday.
Two flats and a Mercedes car have been seized by the Thane police, even as Palghar police has begun investigation under the MPID Act. The Navi Mumbai police, which had booked Sudheeshkumar for allegedly attempting to murder his wife in 2016, has also started investigation. “Some of their relatives live in Nerul and Vashi. We will interrogate them,” said a senior officer from Navi Mumbai police.
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