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4 staffers siphon off Rs 1.3 cr from designer

Posted on Nov 13, 03:39PM | UNI

Four employees working for leading designer Ritu Kumar have been arrested for allegedly siphoning off Rs 1.35 crore from her stores in the city.

The fraud, which took place between July 2011 and October, came to light during an internal audit of the designer's showroom in Lower Parel.

The arrested accused regional manager Natasha Jawali (39), accountant Sachin Ghodkindi (36) and sales girls Shraddha Suyankar (30) and Pragati Kanojia (26) have been remanded to police custody till November 16. According to police, Jawali, who heads six outlets in the city, is the prime accused. "Besides using debit and credit cards, many customers would pay in cash. The accused gave such customers a manual bill saying there was some problem with the store's computer. As a result, there was no accurate record of cash transactions and the accused pocketed the money," said an officer.

While one of the accused purchased gold with the money, another used it to foot her medical bills, said the police.

"Cops recovered gold worth Rs 80,000 and Rs 1.5 lakh from Suyankar and Kanojia respectively. Another accused deposited Rs 3 lakh in the bank," said a source.