Mumbai: Maid, hubby pull of Rs 5 lakh heist at trusting employers' house

The elderly couple were so taken by the tender, loving care provided by the woman that they were planning on bequeathing some property to her

The Bhandaris will perhaps take a long time to start trusting people again. Their ‘dependable’ maid and her husband have been arrested by the Malwani police from Bangalore for decamping with cash and jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh from the house of the gullible elderly couple.

Riya Shaikh and Asif Sheikh were traced to Bangalore and arrested by the Malwani police
Riya Shaikh and Asif Sheikh were traced to Bangalore and arrested by the Malwani police

Police sources said Riya Shaikh had been hired by Manjula Bhandari (55), who lives with her 60-year-old paralysed husband at Bazaar Galli, Malwani Church, Malad West, three months ago. The couple’s son was too tied up with work to spare ample time for their care.

Within no time, Riya gained the trust of the family with her commitment to work. “She took advantage of this and with the help of her husband, Asif Shaikh, hatched a plan to rob them. On the night of March 13, the two decamped with the Bhandaris’ jewelley and cash,” said an officer from the Malwani police station.

The family reported the heist to the police, but didn’t suspect Riya’s hand in it at all. After the police sounded them out about the maid’s involvement in the crime, the Bhandaris were left shaken by the betrayal. “The elderly couple was planning on naming some property after Riya as she had taken good care of them,” another police officer said.

The police’s investigation led them to a travel agent through whom Riya and Asif had booked a bus ticket for Bangalore. Based on the information provided by the agent, they arrested the two from Bangalore on March 17, brought them back to Mumbai the next day and produced them before the Borivli metropolitan magistrate court. After the two confessed to pulling off the heist, police recovered the stolen valuables from them.

Riya and Asif had married a few years ago and had arrived in Mumbai looking for work.

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