Hyderabad: Police, who had concluded that it’s no handiwork of a street criminal gang, are probing which professional gang is involved in the Muthoot case.
Since a Jharkhand native was arrested earlier for a similar heist that targeted Muthoot Finance in another branch in the same area, police is looking at the angle of involvement of a gang from central India.
The cops are also investigating if the gang had links with any terror outfits. In the last two years, Muthoot officers across the country have been targeted by robbers multiple times.
In February, 2014, burglars had targeted Muthooot Finance building at Zaheerabad town and escaped with seven kilos gold ornaments and more than `13 lakh cash. But on the same day of the heist, police arrested a person named Ashok Sharma, 25, a native of Jam Nagar village, Saheb Gunj Mandal of Jharkand state, while he was boarding a bus at Mahathma Gandhi Bus station in Hyderabad with the booty. He was the only one arrested in the case, rest were absconding. Police now probe if the same gang is behind the robbery.
On Wednesday, after the gang fled with the 40 kg gold from the Muthoot branch in RC Puram, the police arrived at the spot. Clues teams and fingerprint experts collected the specimens as part of the probe. They also collected the CCTV footage from other buildings located in surrounding areas.
Cyberabad police commissioner Sandeep Shandilya said 16 teams have been formed to track down the culprits. Police were trying to identify the con men by analysing the footage from CCTV they got so far. “We are in the process of finding the accused and verifying CCTV footage. Special teams have been formed to trace the accused,” Shandilya said.
Police officials said that gang fled along the Hyderabad-Mumbai highway from Ramachandrapuram to Zaheerabad town in Sangareddy district. Sources say that they may have easily cross the border by the time police started their search.
They told the manager that a thief had disposed looted gold in this branch and they need to verify. To convince the employees the gang carried handcuffs. One of them was acting as a thief wearing a monkey cap. The gang also told the manager that they need to verify the accounts recorded after demonetisation.
Gangsters at large
Offender 1:Dressed like a sardarji - wearing black safari dress and light brown shoe, Light blackish / brownish turban (Pagdi). Height – 5’ 10”. Wore shoe –, He carried short arm like pistol.
Offender 2: He wore a mask Initially, but then took it off and wore a monkey cap. Height – 5’-6” – 30 to 35 years- Posed has thief, slightly bald headed
Offender 3: In Traffic cop getup. Aged about 35 – 40 years. He wore white shirt and light black trouser. height 5’-7”
Offender 4: In safari dress. Height 6 feet. He wielded short weapon like pistol, carried handcuffs
Offender 5: He wore a military cap and a white full sleeve shirt. He also carried multiple bags and a blanket.
The gang used fake number plate. The registration number belongs to a Bajaj Chetak schooter.
It took 45 minutes for the employees to alert the cops after robbers fled the area.
Last year in May, an armed robbery by a gang at Muthoot Branch Hydernagar, Kukatpally failed as the employee's resisted. The case remains undetected.
Involvement of SIMI operatives in Muthoot robberies were earlier probed, but so far not proved.
Previous robberies at Muthoot
December 26,: Rs 90 lakh looted from Muthoot branch in Gujarat.
August 16, 2016: 5.5 kg gold stolen from Muthoot Fincorp in Salem of TN.