After arresting Vihari Poddar for allegedly smuggling jewellery, law enforcement agencies have turned their attention on her kin, including her husband Abhishek Poddar.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has claimed that Jiten Sheth, uncle of Vihari, and her husband Abhishek are absconding, sources said.
Abhishek is the promoter and director of Siyaram Mills. The DRI declared them as absconders following their failed attempts to serve summons to them for questioning.
Apprehending arrest, Sheth had applied for anticipatory bail. Sheth manages two jewellery shops of Vihari at Santacruz in western Mumbai, which had been raided by the DRI.
The Sessions Court adjourned the bail plea as the DRI officials informed the court that they had no plans to arrest him and needed him only for questioning.
Meanwhile, the court directed him to report to the DRI office to assist with the investigation for a week.
However, the DRI officials took permission from the court to question Vihari in the Byculla prison. Vihari has been in jail since Friday after she allegedly tried to carry Rs 2.45 crore-worth gold and diamond jewellery in her underclothes. She was detained on July 30 after she tried to pass through the green channel without declaring the valuables after arriving from Singapore.
Law enforcement agencies do not press for arrest of a person accused of smuggling if he/she is ready to cough up the evaded duty and penalty. However, in the case though Vihari agreed to pay the evaded duty of Rs 89.5 lakh and the penalty, the DRI arrested her as they believe she has used the same means to smuggle jewellery in the past. According to sources, Vihari has made 20 trips from Singapore to Mumbai. They suspect that some of the trips could have been used to smuggle jewellery.