Mumbai

Hundreds gather outside Mira Road’s closed Goodwin outlet

Seeking answers: People outside Goodwin store at Mira Road.

Seeking answers: People outside Goodwin store at Mira Road.  

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FIR of cheating, criminal breach of trust filed against owners

Hundreds of investors of Goodwin Jewellers gathered outside the Mira Road outlet on Sunday to voice their grievances following the closure of the store two days before Dhanteras (October 25).

Christine D’Souza (67), one of the protesters, said her husband who retired five years ago invested all their savings in one of Goodwin’s schemes and had landed in distress with their money stuck.

A woman walks past Goodwin Jewellers’ outlet at Mira Road on Sunday.

A woman walks past Goodwin Jewellers’ outlet at Mira Road on Sunday.  

“My daughter was supposed to get returns on her investment this month, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. After retirement, the money we invested was everything we had. There is no other source of income,” she said.

Another Mira Road resident Sybil Monterio (60), who has been investing in the fixed deposit scheme for the last decade, said, “I cannot access my hard-earned money. I could not believe that they shut down their stores overnight. The day I saw the Mira Road outlet closed, I went to the Thane store to ask for my money but found customers were crying outside the closed store there as well.” For the common man, these savings are their dreams and it is painful to see their dreams get shattered like this, she said.

Sandra Drago (57), a doctor who runs a hospital, said her entire staff have been investing with the jewellers for last four years. “Last month, we got a hint that they were not doing well as there was barely any stock left in the store. We were planning to withdraw our investments this month but the store shut down,” she said.

Another Mira Road resident Hitesh Jethwal (42), a tailor, said two of his workers had invested in a fixed deposit scheme through him. “I invested their money thinking it would help them. On October 22, when I visited the store, there was nothing except for a few pairs of earrings. I tried getting my returns in gold but the employees did not allow me to make any purchase on the pretext that there was a glitch in the billing system.”

Mr. Jethwal said the owners’ post on social media that the investors need not worry and that their money would be returned was futile. “What is the assurance? At this point we will be thankful even if they return the principal amount properly.”

Last week, a video of the owners assuring the investors that their money would be returned safely and that they had not run away surfaced on social media. However, the video failed to provide relief to the distressed investors.

According to the Mira Road police, an FIR of cheating and criminal breach of trust was filed under sections of the Indian Penal Code against the owners on Saturday night. “Over 130 investors from Mira Road have approached us so far and the case is being investigated by Economic Offences Wing,” a police officer said.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 10:20:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/hundreds-gather-outside-mira-roads-closed-goodwin-outlet/article29873541.ece

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