A COUPLE who allegedly duped seven jewellers to the tune of Rs 10.60 crore by not returning security deposit collected for shops given on rent and gala spaces was booked by the Mumbai police Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on Thursday.
According to EOW officials, the couple took money from the jewellers as security deposit for shops and gala spaces in a five-star hotel in Vile Parle on rent for five years. However, even after the jewellers vacated them in 2021, the accused couple failed to return the security deposit.
Based on a complaint by jeweller Mahendrakumar Jain, 52, a resident of Sion, police booked Vitthalwadi resident Govind Varma and his wife, Shweta Varma.
As per the complaint, the accused couple, through the agency Jewel Trends Private Limited, allegedly rented shops and gala spaces in a Vile Parle-based five-star hotel between 2018 and 2023 to Jain and six other jewellers known to him. The couple also promised to provide various services at these spaces and accepted refundable security deposit of Rs 10.60 crore from them.
In 2021, the five-star hotel informed the jewellers that the accused couple had taken the office spaces on rent only until 2021 and asked the jewellers to vacate. The jewellers had to vacate the premises in 2021 against the rent agreement deal until 2023, an officer said.
After they vacated the premises, the jewellers demanded the security deposit back. However, the accused couple kept delaying the payment, prompting the jewellers to approach police and file a complaint.
The LT Marg police station official on Thursday registered a case under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant, banker, merchant, or agent), 420 (cheating), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code against Govind Varma and his wife Shweta Varma.
The investigation of the case has been transferred to the EOW.