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Mumbai: Police bust gang that sold and mortgaged fake gold

Updated on: 10 April,2024 08:02 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Samiullah Khan |

The fake gold that was procured from Meerut appeared so genuine that even jewelers would not tell the difference

Mumbai: Police bust gang that sold and mortgaged fake gold

Representational Image. Pic Courtesy/iStock

Four men have been arrested by the Malad police for allegedly defrauding a Malad-based jeweler of Rs 1.90 lakh by mortgaging fake gold bangles. The jeweler handed over the loan money after the cursory examination he had conducted revealed the gold as genuine. When gold bangles were examined in a machine, it was found that the bangles were gold plated. The jeweler approached the Malad police and lodged an FIR.

Under the guidance of deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Anand Bhoite Zone 11 and senior police inspector Ravindra Adhane, police sub-inspector (PSI) Shivaji Shinde and his team initiated the investigation. One accused was apprehended from the Jogeshwari Behram Bauge locality, leading to the subsequent capture of three more suspects from the Rabale area of New Mumbai.

Those arrested have been identified as Vikas Pawar, Sunil Salwe, Babasaheb Pawar and Mohsin Manihaar. They were produced before the court on Friday and remanded into police custody till Thursday, said a police officer from the Malad police station.

During interrogation, it was revealed that accused Vikas Pawar, an agarbatti seller, came in contact with the mastermind of the fake gold racket from Meerut district a couple of months ago. The mastermind provided Pawar with samples of fake gold ornaments and instructed him to sell them.

The fake gold bangles were coated with real gold of such quality that even experts would be deceived until it was examined with a machine. With the assistance of his associates, Pawar successfully sold jewelry in Mumbai and New Mumbai in recent times and was preparing to continue these activities or use the fake gold as mortgage with the jewelers.

Those from Meerut only provided them with two pairs of bangles during each transaction, instructing them to obtain whatever price they desired and to provide them with Rs 30,000 for each bangle.

Last month, Pawar and Mohsin Manihaar visited a jewelry shop in Natraj Market, Malad West, where they mortgaged two pairs of bangles with the jeweler Mahesh Jain for R1.9 lakh. Though Jain had handed over the money, he had sent the gold to be examined in a machine to confirm its genuineness. Jain had also sought the Aadhaar card details from the borrowers. Pawar had earlier left with the cash and Mohsin left under the pretext of getting a photocopy of his Aadhaar card. Even as Jain was waiting for Mohsin to return, he received a call that the gold bangles were merely gold plated and not genuine.  

“With the help of CCTV footage and tracing Mohsin's contact number, the police apprehended him on Friday, subsequently leading to the arrest of the three others. The mastermind supplying the fake gold ornaments remains at large,” said a police officer.

During the investigation, it emerged that Manihaar and Salve, who are friends, previously worked together for Policy Bazaar and a couple of finance companies. Pawar is the relative and cousin brother of Salve, leading to their involvement in the racket. It is suspected that the accused may have committed similar crimes in New Mumbai and Mumbai city, prompting authorities to seek assistance from other police stations, said a police officer.

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