In an industry where trust is paramount, a 53-year-old diamond merchant was shocked and stunned on Tuesday after he discovered his trusted employee of three years stole diamonds worth Rs 85 lakh from the safe in his office at the Diamond Bourse in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) and fled.
The accused worked as a delivery boy with the company and CCTV cameras installed within the office captured Prakash Chaudhary (25), a resident of Kalbadevi, committing the sizeable theft. Following the identification, police officials from BKC police station said that a team has been dispatched to the accused’s hometown in Gujarat and are confident of arresting him within two days.
Chaudhary had worked for complainant Ajit Seth, a resident of Parle Point in Surat, since 2010 and was a well-regarded member of staff. Seth had employed Chaudhary after a common friend had put in a good word for him. Diamond merchants generally prefer to employ family members or recommended persons since the diamond business is based on trust between owners and their employees.
Police said over the years, Chaudhary gained the trust of his employer, and Seth even furnished him with the special pass required to gain entry in the bourse and the safe house in his office. According the police, two sets of keys to the safe are with the complainant and his business partner. On Monday, Chaudhary stole the keys from Seth’s partner without him knowing. A few hours later, he returned in the night, opened the safe and stole the diamonds. Police said that he then boarded a train to his native place.
“A police team has been sent to Chaudhary’s hometown and we are confident of arresting him soon,” said a police inspector from BKC police station.
Meanwhile, a diamond merchant, present at the police station, said, “It is a shocking incident. The whole business relies on trust and an incident like this is bad for the industry.”