Pune, July 15: The Millionaire money-lender famous as ‘Pimpri Goldman’, Datta D. Phuge was found clobbered to death near Dighi here on early Friday morning, police said.
The crime took place in wee hours on Thursday when the some unidentified persons accosted ‘gold man’s car in the outskirts of city. The assailants reportedly thrashed him out, attacked him with a sickle and then pounded him to death with huge stones before fleeing from the spot.
The high profile businessman Phuge generally used to remain with his armed private bodyguards, but it is not clear where they were when the incident took place.
Officials later recovered a body of the 35-year old Phuge, whose wife Seema works as an ex-municipal corporator.The reason behind the killing is yet unknown, but as per prime facia it may be linked to some business rivalries.
The police have found the sickle which was used in the crime and have sent Phuge’s body for post mortem.
In late 2012, Phuge came in global limelight when he stitched an opulent Rs 10 million (Rs one crore) 22-carat pure gold shirt which came decorated with six glittering Swarovski crystal buttons and an accompanying flashy gold belt in a matching design.
Apart from his primary business of lending money, he ran the Vakratund Chit Fund Pvt. Ltd. along with his wife and there were complaints of financial misappropriation against him in recent times.
Meanwhile, the Pune Police have geared up the investigation to chase the killers, roadblocks erected at all exit points and within the city limits as well as district boundaries.
At that time (2012), his shirt was billed as ‘most expensive’ in the world, weighing around 3.5 kg pure gold and ‘stitched’ by the famous Ranka Jewellers of Pune.
The “golden shirt’ has more than 14,000 gold flowers intertwined with 100,000-plus spangles sewn on a base of fine velvet, is described as easy and comfortable to wear like any normal clothes.