Chennai gold heist suspects knew each other since school: CoP

The incident happened around 3 pm. Passerby who saw the security guard lying unconscious outside the firm alerted the police.
Chennai police Commissioner, Shankar Jiwal
Chennai police Commissioner, Shankar Jiwal

CHENNAI: The suspects in the Arumbakkam Fedbank gold heist case knew each other since school, Chennai police Commissioner, Shankar Jiwal said on Monday.

While stating that two accused, Balaji (28) and Santhosh (30) were arrested and 18 kg of the 31.7 kg stolen gold was recovered, the commissioner maintained that the prime suspect, Murugan, the staff of Fedbank who masterminded the heist is yet to be arrested.

“His whereabouts is known, ” a senior police officer said.

Till Monday, police recovered 18 kg of gold after securing two persons, V Balaji and M Santhosh, while another, Senthil Kumaran, was also arrested. The Commissioner

said they are closing in on Murugan, a staff of Fedbank who orchestrated the heist. “We are expecting to secure him by today or tomorrow,” he said.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the plan was made 10 days ago. “All of them are from the same neighbourhood. Some of them went to the same school, too,” Jiwal said.

While three of them, including Murugan, carried out the robbery, others were stationed at different areas of the city to collect their share of the booty and spread out. It was a customer who noted the chaos in the strong room and alerted the police, said the Commissioner, adding that a team was at the spot within 20 minutes of their escape.

Chennai police Commissioner, Shankar Jiwal
Armed gang escapes with gold jewels worth crores from city bank

Of the 11 special teams, one was dedicated to monitoring CCTV footage on the routes taken by the suspects, which led to an early breakthrough.

“The security guard had claimed that he was given a spiked drink and he fell unconscious. Our perusal of CCTV footage suggests otherwise. We have taken a sample of the drink and are investigating his claims,” a senior officer said.

Police are also investigating why the alarm system in the bank did not set off when the safe room was opened. “Some of the family members of the suspects were aware that they were up to something bad,” an officer said.

When questioned, the arrested persons revealed that the plan was to share the booty among the six people who planned the heist. Two bikes and two cars were used for the getaway, which have been secured.

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