Hyderabad: One of the largest heists in the country, in which about 25 kilos of gold ornaments was stolen in Tamil Nadu, ended up being one of the shortest ever. The Cyberabad police on Saturday caught on the city outskirts, an eight member gang of dacoits that was trying to make good with the loot it had stolen from the Muthoot Finance office at Hosur in Tamil Nadu on Friday.
Also seized by the police along with the gold ornaments, was Rs 93,000, seven pistols, 10 magazines, 97 rounds of ammunition, a container lorry, a multi-utility vehicle and 13 cellphones.
According to Cyberabad commissioner of police V.C. Sajjanar, the gang members conducted a recce of several branches of Muthoot Finance before the robbery on Friday at the Hosur branch.
Around five days ago, Sajjanar said, the gang members bought the weapons and ammunition along with the lorry in which they planned to transport the stolen gold to Nagpur.
The plan for the robbery was then set into motion with the lorry owner instructing the driver to park the vehicle on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border.
On Friday morning, six gang members went to Hosur on three motorcycles. While two of them waited outside to keep watch, the rest made their way in — two of them wearing face masks and the other two wearing two-wheeler helmets.
They threatened the employees with the pistols they were carrying and robbed the company of 25 kg of mortgaged gold ornaments, and cash. They esaped to the rendezevous with the other gang members on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border where the lorry and the MUV were waiting.
After placing the loot in a specially made box in the lorry driver’s cabin, the gang started for Nagpur. One of the accused was in the lorry while the others travelled behind in the MUV. After reaching Anantapur, they shifted to another hired vehicle.
Police officials from Krishnagiri district, in which Hosur falls, alerted the Telangana police about the heist and about the getaway vehicles. According to Sajjanar, armed checkposts were immediately put in place at the Raikal and Shamshabad toll plazas to check the vehicles passing by.
When the hired MUV passed Raikal, the cops posted there identified it and alerted officials who intercepted it and took into custody the gang members. Based on the information provided by them, the police intercepted the lorry carrying the gold at Medchal, seized it and arrested those in the vehicle.
The accused, the police said, were brothers Rup Singh Baghal, a 22-year-old student, and Shankar Singh Baghal, 36, a farmer, from Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, Amith from Indore who is absconding, Pavan Kumar Vishkarma, 22, driver, Bupender Major, a 24-year-old labourer and Vivek Mandal, 32, both from Doranda village in Jharkhand, Rajiv Kumar, 35, cleaner of the lorry, from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, and Lulya Pandey, weapons dealer from Nagpur, Maharashtra.