Hitesh Chavda, Gandhinagar: Residents of Umreth taluka in Anand are in a fix after four jewelry firms have shut shop claiming bankruptcy, which had their assets in the form of gold, silver and cash deposits valued to be worth over Rs 150 crores. The residents had invested money with these four firms in different schemes expecting good returns.

Narayan Jewellers, Lallubhai Choksi, Dhanvarsha Firm, Gabhawala Dipakumar of Choksi Vihar are the four firms, located in the jewelry market of Umreth, which were declared defaulters and the firms sealed by the Umreth Urban Co-operative Bank.

The 5,700 investors, mostly farmers, widows, small-time businessmen and people belonging to the middle-class families are now left in a limbo, with no trace of their investments into these firms, accounting to more than Rs 150 crores. A police complaint was registered at the local Umreth Police Station of fraud if Rs 18 lakhs by few of the depositors, but no action has been taken so far against the owners of these firms, this despite being a clear case of financial fraud.

Rashtriya Kisan Union’s Ravi Patel says, “We had approached the superintendent of police and appraised him about our issue. We urged him to register complaints of all the depositors against the defaulters, which the local police had refused to do so. The SP has assured us of appropriate action after looking into the case.

The villagers now demand that the Central Bureau of Investigation conduct an inquiry into this alleged scam by the four firms. The locals claim that there were searches conducted at the house of the owner of Narayan Jewellers, but he had already moved out all the valuables like gold and silver in the previous month itself as he was aware of a probable search at his residence.