A gang of armed robbers made away with around 12.8 kg gold worth around Rs 3 crore and 1.30 lakh cash from a gold loan firm in Chhattisgarh’s Surguja district, police said Thursday. As many as five masked men broke into a branch of the Manappuram Gold Loans firm at Brahma Road in Ambikapur town-the district headquarters Wednesday evening and decamped with the gold and cash, Surguja Additional Superintendent of Police Ramkrishna Sahu said.
Ambikapur is located around 400 kms away from Raipur in the northern part of the state. According to the ASP, the robbers struck at around 4.30 pm and locked the main gate after which they held four employees and as many customers hostage and looted 12.8 kg of gold worth around Rs 3 crore and Rs 1.30 lakh in cash at gun-point.
Soon after getting information, a police team rushed to the spot and freed the persons who were locked inside the office, he said. The robbers also took away with them the CCTV camera as well as its footage of the finance firm before fleeing the crime scene. However, footage of CCTV cameras installed in nearby shops was being examined, he said. A case has been registered in this connection, the ASP said adding that efforts are on to trace the robbers.
Reacting to the robbery, the management issued a statement: “The management of Manappuram Finance Ltd. assures that the interest of our customers and security of their gold jewelry is our first priority. We confirm that the gold jewellery kept in the branch is fully insured and that the affected customers will not be put to loss on this account.
“The Bramha Road branch of the company was targeted by a gang of armed robbers who overpowered the security guard on duty and physically assaulted the branch staff before looting the gold. The company promptly alerted the police and all necessary information including CCTV footage from the surveillance cameras has been shared with them. The company uses a combination of security guards and electronic security to secure its branches across the country. An advanced centrally monitored electronic security system links all our branches to ensure that customers’ gold is fully protected.
“We are confident that the police will be successful in nabbing the culprits at the earliest and we will extend our full cooperation in the investigations. We reiterate, our customers will not face any loss on this account as they will be compensated with gold of equivalent value.”
Meanwhile, an alert has been sounded in the area while police have stepped up vigil as well as checking of suspected vehicles and persons at the bordering places (as the district shares a porous border with Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand states), the ASP said.