Gang breaks into finance firm, flees with 70 kg of gold

A branch of Muthoot Finance where burglars struck and stole 70 kg of gold worth Rs 16 crore. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A gang Sunday night smashed down the wall of Muthoot Finance Limited in Lingarajapuram and fled with 70 kilograms of gold worth Rs 16 crore.

City police commissioner Bhaskar Rao, while visiting the spot, estimated the value of the stolen gold jewellery to be Rs 16 crore, though they are still counting the missing items. The heist is likely an insider job since a few company staff have been missing.

Police formed a special team to capture the criminals involved in the heist. Preliminary investigations revealed that the firm did not post security personnel at the strong room and the guard they had appointed was on leave.

A senior police official believes that raiders had planned the heist for at least two days. The missing gold jewels were pledged by the company’s customers and were stored in lockers.

Company staff noticed the ransacked office and broken lockers on Monday since the office was closed for the weekend on Saturday and Sunday. The gang had used gas cutters to break the lockers. The staff first counted the money on Monday and had informed the police only later.

The spot inspection has revealed that the burglars smashed down the wall of the washroom adjacent to the firm and used gas cutters to break the strong room’s iron door.

“We’ve taken the security guard into custody and are interrogating him. Efforts are on to capture the gang,” said a senior official. The accused snapped the main power supply to render the CCTV cameras inside the building inoperative.

The jewellery belongs to hundreds of customers who pledged them to avail loan under the company’s gold scheme.

“We’ve collected CCTV footage from nearby places to get a fix on the gang and the vehicle they used,” said the police official. “We’re also questioning the night beat police for more clues.”

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