5 held for illegal transaction of elephant pearls

Oshiwara police Friday arrested five persons allegedly involved in the sale and purchase of rare and expensive elephant pearls (valuable gems owned by erstwhile royal families) in a flat in Andheri west.

The sellers identified as Sandeep Mehta (48) and Lalit Desai (40) had met with Raj Divedi, Mohammed Shaikh and Kamlesh Visav at their residence in Manish Tower located near Mega Mall in Oshiwara. Acting on a tip-off, cops raided the premises, where they found three elephant pearls with Mehta and Desai, which they were about to sell for Rs 2 lakh. The duo claimed the elephant pearls allegedly worth crores had been with them for the past four years.

"The duo probably needed money, due to which they were ready to sell these pearls cheap. However, the three buyers have not yet revealed how they got in touch with the duo and why they needed the pearls," a police officer from the Oshiwara police station said.

Officers investigating the case said that the duo did not have any documents about the elephant pearls usually owned by royal families. "These pearls were being sold illegally," said PSI Vijayanand Patil, from the Oshiwara police station.

Police are now investigating the source. "We will contact officials and take their opinion to find out whether these pearls were smuggled," Patil said.

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