Thane: After the Economic Offence Wing of the Thane crime branch arrested the 76-year-old man, the owner of VGN jeweler for running a Ponzi scheme racket, around 137 investors have approached the EOW police taking up further the total to more than Rs 10 crore. The police said lockdown and pandemic had resulted in breaking the chain of the jewelers, who had no new investors to rotate the cash flow.

According to the Thane crime branch, the arrested accused was identified as Virithgopalan Nair (76), who was arrested on October 5. “He was in police custody till October 9. After producing in court on Saturday, the court ordered him jail custody,” said Sunil Lokhande, deputy commissioner of police, EOW, Thane police.

The police said that the owner, Virithgopalan Nair of VGN jewelers, and his wife Valsala had started a finance firm in Kalyan. Meanwhile, they also had their jewelry stores in Dombivli, Ulhasnagar, and Mulund and a finance firm in Kalyan. The owner of VGN jeweler had cheated many investors in the period from 2006 to 2021.

“Nair used to lure investors by asking them to invest Rs 500 per month. If a person pays Rs 500 for 24 months, Nair used to return the Rs 14,000 or gold ornaments. Similarly, in another scheme, he used to ask investors to go for a fixed deposit for five years. For the fixed deposit, he used to give a return of 15 percent, which was more than the bank,” said a police officer from the EOW.

The police said, till the pandemic he was…

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