Nagpur: Picture this.
Recently some unscrupulous employees of a Nagpur based franchisee of a reputed jewelers stole gold from the jewellery shop and mortgaged the valuables to the local branches of instant gold financing companies – Manapuram Finance Company and Muthoot Finance Company. Without going much deeper into the source of jewellery, these companies shelled out money to them which they paid off as their dues of cricket betting. Eventually, when the manager of the jewellery shop found shortage in the stock, he lodged a complaint with the police. During the investigation, the cops traced the theft to the employees who revealed that they did so to pay off their dues owed to the cricket bookie. The cops arrested the employees and the cricket bookie too.
Well this particular case has opened up Pandora’s Box which may tumble out similar such instances where stolen gold was safely passed off to these gold financing companies who are more concerned about business rather than going too much into its legality. Nagpur Today found out that the laws framed by some of these companies not only improper and decrepit, but also has loopholes which the unscrupulous elements can easily exploit.
The laws state that anyone who brings the gold just has to provide the photo copies of pan card, address proof like ration card, driving license etc. to get instant loan against the gold.
A Retired Police Officer Tayde, said to be the Incharge of Manapuram Finance Company in Nagpur did not take the call and answer the questions after asking who was calling.
However, while speaking to Nagpur Today, the personnel of the Legal Team of the jeweller whose gold worth Rs one crore seventy lakhs was stolen are reported to have said that the head office has the photograph of all their jewellery that are kept in their branches across India and have tags and imprints to prove that the jewellery belongs to them or was purchased from their shop.
No receipts asked!
The company officials video record all the conversations, verify the original documents against the copies given and then verify the gold to check the authenticity and the carats of the gold ornaments. The company does not insist on the receipts of the purchase of the gold. Well. The loop hole here is that people often come and say that the gold ornament was a gift or a dowry and hence no receipt was given along with the gift. So without verifying the authenticity of the ownership of the gold jewellery, one can easily get cash against gold.
When asked, the local manager of the finance company said that they have adequate laws that prevent them from becoming the victims of duping. He claimed that their laws prevent them from becoming party to the crime as well. He claimed that not only Nagpur, there has been many cases which they have filed and many case that have been filed against them. However, they have a Supreme Court decision that says that they are not offenders or party to crime.
Well this decrepit law is providing a good opportunity to the unscrupulous elements and thieves to just go and mortgaged the gold stolen from somewhere, provide the identity proof, pan card and address proof and get a sizeable loan and disappear from the place.
Nagpur Today View
While there are no proper laws in place to check the illegal gold transaction in the name of instant loan, the role of police becomes quite critical. The defaulters (read gold thieves) in this case often take advantage of the loopholes and get off quickly, thanks to the sheltering ways of such gold financing companies. The traditional way of reserving gold jewellery against money has now transformed into a big business. With every progress comes some lacunae which should be dealt with strict hands. Another telling effect of the trend comes in the form of tax evasion. Income Tax Department should duly check the veracity of money flow into such gold loan schemes to rule out any possibility of black money into it.
Does the laws of these private companies providing instant cash against gold need to have extra stringent laws to prevent from entertaining unscrupulous elements and thieves? Please have your say in the comment box