New Delhi: Over eight cases of gold robbery amounting to 70 crores have been reported in the last two years by the country's leading gold loan providers/companies such as Manappuram Finance, Muthoot Finance and Indian Infoline (IIFL). With the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, various other attempts were also made in several states as the country witnessed hike in gold prices, leading to 25% surge from Rupees 43,251 an ounce at the end of last year. Reports have it that most of these successful or unsuccessful attempts take place because of little or no security, although Companies like Manappuram denied this cause referring to the sophisticated security and vigilance systems they have employed. Even the impact of the ongoing COVID pandemic cannot be ruled out for a plausible cause as five out of these eight cases took place in 2020, of which three occurred in the last three months alone.
Talking about the insurance part of this story, Manappuram authorities revealed that gold deposited in their companies are fully insured and the people could even get the entire money back, even if at the cost of losing their prized jewellery. Adding that they have 70 tonnes of customer jewellery in possession, all their customers should rest assured because they are eventually safe. In response to recovering the stolen property, the Company further stated that even in the successful cases, police have been successful in getting back most of it.
Interestingly, even if the price of gold has been soaring over the years, the demand and investments on gold have not decreased. Instead, more people are seeking to invest on their jewellery with leading Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) like Manappuram, Muthoot, IIFL etc. The gold prices have however only recently come down after the announcement of the COVID pandemic. But regardless, the market for gold in India, according to analysts, will always be resourceful as the country has rich cultures and traditions which value gold immensely.
Reportedly, five Muthoot branches, two IIFL branches and one Manappuram branch recorded robberies between February 2019 and November 2020. Each of these incidents involving property worth between 100-250 millions took place in West Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra, Kolkata and Odisha.