Mumbai Crime: Jewellery store staffers at Taj Mahal Hotel held for fraud

Two employees of Ravissant, including one who worked at the exclusive jewellery store in the Taj Mahal Hotel in Colaba, have been arrested for cheating it of Rs 1.11 crore. Police said the employees had different modus operandi, including accepting cash from customers — a few of whom were foreign nationals — and not scanning the product bar codes to register sales to pocket the money.

Monisha Kapoor, one of the duo, worked at the Ravissant store at Taj Colaba
Monisha Kapoor, one of the duo, worked at the Ravissant store at Taj Colaba

The duo, Monisha Suresh Kapoor (47) and Sanjeev Saxena (45), who worked at the Ravissant factory in Delhi, was arrested following a complaint by Ravissant’s executive chartered accountant, Balasaheb Pol (34), with the Colaba police.

However, an FIR was lodged on June 3 only after a customer sent an email to the official mail of Ravissant owner, Ravi Chawla, calling out Kapoor on his ‘rude behaviour’, who also asked her to pay in cash when she wanted to use her credit card. The amount — Rs 55,000 — was paid in cash by the customer and the bill was attached to the email. But an internal investigation by the company found that the bill was fake and that the amount was not credited to the company’s account.

Another con
A similar fraud came to the notice of the company after it was found that a customer had purchased a silver-plated tray and a Lord Ganesha idol for Rs 2.35 lakh on January 4, but even this amount differed. The computerised software showed other items of lower price having been sold to him.

The company then conducted internal audits, which revealed a loss of Rs 1.11 crore. It then lodged an FIR with the Colaba police under several sections of the IPC for cheating and forgery, said a police official.

The police found that Kapoor, a Malabar Hill resident, had been working as a senior manager at the Taj branch of Ravissant for about a decade. On questioning her, she said a regular customer had returned a few goods which she had sold and the money, which she did not credit back into the company’s account.

Saxena, a Ghaziabad resident who had been a manager at the company’s factory in Delhi for the last 10 years, had the job of getting finished goods packed and preparing a computerised electronic data intercharge (EDI) for transmission to outlets across the country. EDI contains information of bar codes and descriptions of the goods including the MRP.

The computerised system for maintaining stocks and sale records in the shops, and the software is directly linked to the factory. At the factory, the security staff check and mark the codes for goods in the software system, but in the audit, it was found that EDIs on about 400 boxes differed. It was also found that several items valued in lakhs were shown as being sold below R10,000.

There has been no recovery of the money as yet. Kapoor was arrested on June 9, and Saxena two days later, the police official said.

Vinay Gadgil, senior inspector of Colaba police station, said, “The duo has been granted police custody till June 16 and the matter is being investigated.” Calls to Ravissant went answered.

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