The police have learnt not to underestimate Vrushali Bamane just because she is a Std XII pass. Last month, they were shocked to discover that the 29-year-old had duped her boss of over Rs 16 crore by cooking the accounting books. Now, they are even more amazed to learn how she shrewdly invested her ill-gotten gains and amassed property worth crores across the state. But here's the most remarkable bit — Bamane managed all this without ever learning accounting (she studied science in 10+2).
Even with zero training in accounting, she managed to get a job at as an assistant accountant at Mahalaxmi Rope Works in Fort, and then managed to siphon off money over three years without anyone ever realising she was fudging the accounts. Earning a salary of just Rs 18,000 per month, Bamane used the same financial prowess to build a whole portfolio of properties worth crores. The Private News Agency has accessed the list of assets that have been recovered so far from the woman who is now behind bars.
“We were expecting to find the money stashed in an account or somewhere else, but were shocked by the way she utilised the money to amass all these properties," said a cop from Azad Maidan police, who had arrested Bamane last month.
The Dombivli resident worked in the company for over seven years to gain the trust of her employer and, later, breached that very trusty for monetary gain. Since 2013, she had quietly embezzled Rs 16.32 crore from the company's bank accounts, transferring the money in lots to accounts belonging to her parents, husband, sibling and relatives. But the money didn't just sit in accounts.
Police sources said Bamane had constructed a two-storey bungalow named 'Goleshwar' in Karad, in Satara district. The Rs 5-crore bungalow has seven large, fully furnished rooms and a terrace pool. Apart from this, Bamane also bought three plush apartments and two mid-range flats in Dombivli, each estimated to be worth R50-60 lakh in. She also spent heavily on interior designing, said cops. Furthermore, she used the money to buy several fancy cars and bikes, gifting them to her family members. All vehicles have the same registration number — 3777 — but from different RTOs. The accused believed that the number was lucky for her.
But eventually, her luck ran out and she was arrested. “After her arrest we made searches at her residence and other properties and seized gold and silver jewellery, expensive watches and cash, totally worth over Rs 18 lakh," said an officer privy to investigation.
They identified at least eight bank accounts belonging to Bamane but did not find much cash stored there, as she would withdraw money through the ATM and would never leave big amounts in the accounts. “Our officers managed to obtained information from the arrested accused and subsequently we made a sizable recovery in the case," said DCP (zone 1) Manojkumar Sharma.
Bamane, who has been booked under section 408 (criminal breach of trust) of (IPC, had moved an application for bail, but police had opposed it. The court will hear her application on Thursday.
More to come:- There are more properties and stashes of money that the cops are yet to seize and go through, so the tally of assets is likely to go higher. For instance, the cops are yet to seize a prime property of her in Thane, but have learnt that she paid Rs 1 crore just in token amount for it.
Vacations galore:- Investigators also found that Bamane and her husband Sachin also splurged on travel. “The accused and her family members toured Kerala, Rajasthan and other places and also spent on adventures like helicopter rides, etc," said a police source, adding that Bamane had also applied for a passport so she could go on foreign trips.