Cops nab 7, recover 1.6 kg out of 4.1 robbed gold

Police superintendent Dr Sanjeev Patil said that the team led by him was able to crack down the most notorious case of dacoity in the recent past that took place in the district.

A gold salesman from Mumbai was robbed of 4.112 kilograms of gold on September 18 inside the Nethravathi Express travelling from Mumbai to Thiruvananthapuram.

Rajendra Singh Shakthvakth, working for a jewellery company in Mumbai, was called out in sleeper class S-7 and his suitcase containing gold bangles was taken away, with the robbers brandishing a knife and a pistol. The incident took place in the morning hours on September 18. The robbers escaped at Surathkal railway station. Rajendra Singh had received minor injuries. The gold robbed was about 4.112 kilograms and worth Rs 28,32,216. As many as three teams headed by Karkala ASP Rishikesh Sonawane were formed to trace the culprits.

The team initially started off the inquiry with basic clues which they gathered in the market in Mumbai. The police had a lengthy tour, which covered CST, Panvel, Javeri Bazara, Giri Gav, Mumbai Central, Thana, Vashi and Udaipur, Mavali, Raj Samand, Sukher, Pathepur in Rajasthan, and Ahmedabad in Gujarat where the accused were spread out.

Elaborating over the modus operandi, the police head said the accused No 3 Yogeshwar was the mastermind behind the crime. Yogeshwar was jailed in Udaipur on charges of murder, where he met the accused No 6 Devraj Takur. He was removed from the employment in G M Gold, where the victim Rajendra Singh is working. Yogeshwar shared his grievance with Takur, who assured to help him out.

Yogeshwar was released in March, 2017 and he met accused No 9 Prabhulala Gurjar, also an ex-employee of G M Gold. The latter agreed to help Yogeshwar. Thakur, in turn, contacted Mithun alias Rohith Shetty and asked him to help Yogeshwar in the dacoity. Yogeshwar came in contact with Mithun Vaniyan as instructed by Takur. Mithun is the accused No 1 and he, along with accused No 2 Pinto Arjun Chaudhary, accused No 4 Mukthar Ibrahim and accused No 5 Riyaz K from Kerala, hatched the plan and asked them to come to Karwar or Udupi railway station.

The initial attempt to rob the gold transported by G M Gold was a failure although well planned. The accused were unable to collect information of the train where the gold was transported to Delhi. Finally, they embarked upon a plan where they looted Rajendra Singh, while he was travelling to Thiruvananthapuram.

The accused Nos 1, 2 and 3, following the information by accused No 9, boarded the train at Panvel while No 4 and 5 joined them in Kundapur. The crime was committed just one stop before Surathkal.

Following the crime, the accused dispersed with their share of gold. Accused No 1 is a notorious criminal who is wanted in several inter-state crimes. He has committed crimes under several names. Udupi police have confiscated 97.023 gm of gold bangles, a revolver, two live bullets and Rs 1,600 cash from him. The police have confiscated 1.60 kg of gold from the accused, which is worth Rs 31.80 lakh. The total amount of confiscated items, including mobile phones and a car is worth Rs 40.25 lakh.

Of the total accused, the arrested are seven. Patil said that the police are hunting for more numbers of accused and hope to confiscate the remaining gold.

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