Jewellery worth Rs 4.3 cr recovered, 4 arrested

Jewellery worth Rs 4.3 cr recovered, 4 arrested

In a joint operation, the City police and their Kolar counterparts arrested four men and recovered around 17 kg of gold jewellery worth Rs 4.3 crore, which was stolen from an SUV on June 6.

“ We have cracked the sensational case. The meticulous planning and coordinated efforts of the City and Kolar police ensured the arrests and recovery,” City police Commissioner  M N Reddi told reporters on Friday.

The suspects have been identified as Vishwanath, Arun, Amjad and Mansoor. The prime suspect Babu is at large. Vishwanath was once a police informant and he used his knowledge of basic policing to evade arrest, said the police.

“About 18.5 kg jewellery that was being transported in an Innova car was stolen at Kolar on June 6. We have recovered around 17 kg jewellery worth Rs 4.3 crore and a Verna car from the arrested. The suspects told the police that Babu was in possession of the remaining jewellery. We will arrest him soon,” Reddi added.

Rajesh Bhat, the owner of Om Jewellers in Nagarthpet, would often send a large quantity of gold bars to a jewellery making unit in Kolkata where the bars would be crafted into jewellery and sent back to City. He always sent two drivers and two securitymen in his car to transport the jewellery. Babu joined the showroom about two months ago as a driver. He had driven the car to Kolkata and back to the City transporting the jewellery once, said the police.

Bhat sent Babu and Thimmappa, both drivers, and Pappu and Gopal Singh, securitymen in his car, to bring the jewellery in the first week of June. While returning from Kolkata, they stopped the car near Adiga’s Hotel on Chennai-Bengaluru National Highway 75 on the outskirts of Kolar for ablution. Babu stayed back in the car, while the trio went inside the hotel. The trio came outside after some time and the car was missing from the parking lot. Bhat rushed to Kolar and lodged a complaint after he was informed about the theft. The Innova car was traced three days later, said the police.

The City police formed a team to crack the case. They got credible information about the involvement of Vishwanath, a one-time police informant. The police took Vishwanath’s associate Kumar into custody and the latter disclosed Vishwanath’s whereabouts, added the police.

Acting on the leads, the police raided a house at Nallur village in Chikkamgaluru district on Thursday and arrested the suspects. They had hidden the jewellery in a shed meant for livestock at Amjad’s house, added the police. The police are ascertaining whether Bhat had verified Babu’s antecedents before employing him. He had all the documents pertaining to the jewellery while they were being transported to the City, the police commissioner added.

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