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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

India’s “man with the golden shirt” found beaten to death

High-profile businessman brutally attacked in his car.
In this photograph from January 31, 2013, Indian businessman Datta Phuge poses in a shirt made of gold, worth 12.7 million rupees or, US $240,000. The shirt weighs 3.32 kilogrammes. AFP
In this photograph from January 31, 2013, Indian businessman Datta Phuge poses in a shirt made of gold, worth 12.7 million rupees or, US $240,000. The shirt weighs 3.32 kilogrammes. AFP

PUNE, INDIA // Millionaire moneylender, Datta D. Phuge, was found brutally beaten to death early on Friday morning.

The millionaire moneylender, who was popularly known as “Pimpri Goldman” because he owned a shirt made of 22-carat gold, was accosted in his vehicle on the outskirts of the city of Dighi in Maharashtra state late the previous evening. Police said his assailants apparently pulled him out of his car, attacked him with a sickle and then pounded him to death with boulders. then fled, leaving Phuge, 35, either dead or dying. officials found his body early on Friday morning and sent it for autopsy. They also recovered the sickle used in the attack.

Phuge usually moved around with armed private bodyguards, but it is not clear where they were at the time of the incident. The motive behind the murder killing is not known, but police suspect it may be linked to business rivalries.

The main source of Mr Phuge’s wealth was moneylending but he also ran a private investment fun with his wife Seema, a former municipal official. In 2012, Phuge hit the headlines when he donned a shirt made of 22-carat gold. Made by Pune jewellery company Ranka Jewellers, it had more than 14,000 gold flowers intertwined with 100,000 spangles and six glittering Swarovski crystals sewed onto a base of fine velvet and was dubbed the world’s most expensive shirt with a value of 10m rupees. Though it weighed 3.5kg, Phuge insisted it was as easy and comfortable as any other shirt and he wore it with a matching belt.

There had been complaints of financial misappropriation against Phuge recently.

The Pune police have launched a manhunt and have erected roadblocks both at the city limit and district boundaries.

* IANS