‘Choksi supplied old jewellery to Bengaluru-based firm’

‘Choksi supplied old jewellery to Bengaluru-based firm’

Mehul Choksi

In fresh trouble for bank fraud fugitive Mehul Choksi, an additional chief metropolitan magistrate (ACMM) court here has issued a non-bailable warrant against him in a cheating case.

The Economic Offences wing of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Bengaluru, had filed a chargesheet against Choksi and his firm Gitanjali Lifestyle for supplying “old, inferior and low-quality” jewellery to city-based MeVa Jewellers and cheating it to the tune of Rs 9.11 crore.

The chargesheet says Choksi had entered into an agreement with Hariprasad S V of MeVa jewellers on February 12, 2012, for a franchise of Gitanjali and after three days, he received Rs 5 lakh as 'fee'. On February 16, Choksi entered into another agreement with Hariprasad to sell jewellery. Following this, Hariprasad spent Rs 83.51 lakh on the interiors of the showroom.

Choksi had taken Rs 9.60 crore through RTGS between March 3, 2012, and October 26, 2012, and supplied Hariprasad gold, diamond, silver ornaments and other items worth Rs 16.95 crore.

After an examination by experts, all the jewellery provided by Gitanjali Lifestyle company were found to be old, inferior and of low quality. The market value of the jewellery turned out to be only Rs 6.76 crore. Hence, the pieces could not be sold, and eventually, MeVa Jewellery had to close its outlet on March 31, 2015.

The CID officials have obtained a report on the quality of jewellery supplied by Choksi. The chargesheet said Choksi cheated Hariprasad to the tune of Rs 2.83 crore. It further stated that Choksi had not shared the profit of Rs 9.60 lakh with Hariprasad every month, for the past 36 months which was calculated at around Rs 3.45 crore. The chargesheet also claimed that Hariprasad suffered a loss of Rs 83.51 lakh on the interiors of the franchise building and also an annual rent of Rs 5.50 lakh for 36 months, which came up to Rs 1.98 crore.

The CID has pressed charges under Section 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the IPC.

Deputy Superintendent of Police B N Obalesh, the investigating officer in the case, submitted the chargesheet that runs into 936 pages, before I Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court. I ACMM magistrate V Jagadeesh has issued a non-bailable warrant against Choksi.

The central police had registered an FIR on March 18, 2015. After they filed a B report, the case was transferred to the CID.

Choski is believed to be in Antigua and efforts are on by the Ministry of External Affairs to bring him back to India.

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