A day after arresting six persons, Rajkot Rural police said that the robbers had actually run away with Rs 1.56 crore worth of gold jewellery from an office of private finance firm Muthood Fincorp in Dhoraji even as a local court in Dhoraji sent the six accused on police remand for five days on Wednesday. A day after formally arresting the three robbers and their accomplices, police conducted a search at the fair price shop of Ashwin Chauhan in Kalana village of Dhoraji taluka on Wednesday and recovered total of 1.135 kg of lose gold jewellery as well as 382 sealed packets containing gold ornaments. Police said the total jewellery recovered weighed 5.9 kg worth Rs 1.56 crore. An employee of Muthoot Fincorp had stated in his complaint that the three robbers had decamped with 4.880 kg of gold jewellery worth Rs 87 lakh.
“The amount of Rs 87 lakh was the loan advanced against the jewellery which had been submitted by customers as collateral. The actual value of the jewellery is estimated to be Rs 1.56 crore,” Dhoraji police inspector Vinod Chaudhary told The Indian Express. Three robbers had allegedly barged into the office of Muthood FinCorp in Dhoraji on Monday morning, threatened the staff with a gun and knife and sped away on a motor bike after stuffing 410 packets containing gold jewellery from the finance firm office. However, they were nabbed from Junagadh district in the wee hours of Tuesday. The trio were identified as Ashok Parmar, a native of Rajpar village in Morbi district, Rajesh alias Bhuro Bagda, a native of Upleta taluka in Rajkot district and Sunil Bhaskar, a native of Dholra village near Rajkot city.
Following the arrest of the robbers trio, three more persons, who police say were accomplices, were also picked up. They were identified as Ashwin Chauhan (25), a resident of Kalana village in Dhoraji taluka of Rajkot district, Pravin alias Giga Vala, a native of Chotila but presently living in Shapar-Veraval and Ravi Chavda, a native of Virpur village in Jetpur taluka of Rajkot but presently living in Shapar-Veraval. Police had also seized a Nano car belonging to Chauhan.
Police say that Chauhan was mastermind of the robbery as he was the one who hatched a conspiracy to commit the crime in a bid to earn quick money and clear his debt worth Rs 5 lakh. He had contacted his friend Chavda who in turn got in touch with Vala and others. Vala had supplied arms to the robbers. Police also searched his residence on Wednesday and recovered a revolver loaded with five cartridges and a knife.
After recovering the robbed gold from his shop, Chauhan was also formally arrested by Dhoraji. The six were produced in a local court which sent them to police custody for five days. “The accused have had mortgaged 45 grams of gold ornaments for Rs 70,000 loan. We have already recovered around 59,000 of that cash and we have also sought details of the mortgage from a financier in Upleta,” Chaudhary further said.
The PI said that the three robbers used to work in factories in Shapar-Veraval but they had been sacked recently as units closed down due to impact of the demonetisation. “We have informed the court about the recovery of the jewellery and its actual value. The court has also granted our plea to invoke charges of criminal conspiracy against the accused,” Chaudhary added.