Owner of Boston Jeweler Can’t Be Located

The owner of Boston’s Alpha Omega chain has reportedly fled the country, and his chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection shortly afterwards, reports say.

According to a report on Boston magazine’s Web site, Raman Handa, owner of Alpha Omega, his son Amit, and his daughter Nidhi left amid mounting bills. The site obtained a memo to the store’s staff saying that Handa, an Indian-American, “had taken ill and has traveled to India to seek medical attention and convalesce.”

An article in The Boston Globe said representatives of the LaSalle Business Credit arm of Bank of America took possession of Alpha Omega’s inventory Dec. 22. The newspaper said the company is now operating under Chapter 11.

Alpha Omega owns stores in Harvard Square, Boston’s Prudential Center, Burlington Mall, and the Natick Collection mall.

Middlesex County records show that Handa remortgaged his house and a second piece of property he owned about a dozen times in the last 11 years, often for million-dollar-plus sums, the Globe reports. Some refinancings were for lines of credit, including a $350,000 line from National City Bank.