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US woman duped into buying $718,000 Indian jewelry, later discovers it’s worth only $4

NRI PULSE STAFF REPORT

An American woman named Cherish was allegedly tricked into buying cheap gold-plated jewelry for $718,000 by shopkeepers in India. The incident took place nearly two years ago in Johri Bazar, Rajasthan.

Cherish bought the jewelry, believing it to be genuine, as she received a hallmark certificate verifying its purity. However, when she displayed the pieces at an exhibition in the US, she discovered they were fake and only worth about $4. Shocked by this revelation, she returned to India to confront the shopkeeper, Gaurav Soni.

Gaurav Soni denied the accusations. Cherish then informed the US embassy, which assisted her in filing a police complaint against Gaurav and his father, Rajendra Soni.

Police sent the jewelry for testing and found that the supposed diamonds were actually moonstones, and the gold, which was supposed to be 14 carats, was only two carats. Jaipur police’s deputy chief, Bajrang Singh Shekhawat, confirmed these findings.

The accused shopkeepers claimed that Cherish had fled with the jewelry from their shop, but CCTV footage proved this to be false. The police have arrested Nandkishore, who issued the fake hallmark certificate, while Gaurav and Rajendra Soni are currently on the run. Special police teams have been formed to locate them.

Following Cherish’s complaint, several other allegations of fraud against the Sonis have emerged. Cherish initially contacted the Sonis on Instagram in 2022 and believes that they have been systematically cheating her and other designers by sending low-quality gold and moonstones instead of the promised 14-carat gold and natural diamonds. She claims that fake certificates were included with the shipments and that the Sonis have been deceiving about 10 other designers as well.

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