Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Muthoot Gold heist

The theft of 36kg of gold in Durgapur, India, on February 10, 2013, is perhaps the biggest heist in the state in recent memory. Armed robbers fled with jewellery and cash worth Rs.10 crore (Rs.100 million) from a gold financing company's office in the Uttar Pradesh capital, police said.

The heist took place in Alambagh when a gang of robbers barged onto the office of Muthoot Finance and held seven employees and the manager hostage and fled with the booty. The company gives people cash loans against deposits of gold and ornaments. Five persons, including a woman, were netted in Dhanbad on Wednesday in connection with the heist.

With this, the number of arrests in the case has reached 10. About 10 per cent of the 36kg in stolen gold has been recovered.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. A drunken man boasting about kilograms of gold in his possession was the first clue that led to the crackdown of the Muthoot dacoity incident. His rants were overheard by a crime branch constable Rajesh Singh near a liquor store in Alambagh area earlier this week. It was odd for a man of limited means to be in possession of several gold coins. The drunken man was the father of Mohammad Arif, the youth who participated in the heist. Arif had given a portion of the booty to his family members before absconding. His father came under the police radar when he was trying to sell the gold at a small-time jewellery store in Alambagh.