The Greater Chennai Police arrested three people in connection with a gold heist at the branch of a non-banking financial company (NBFC) near Arumbakkam in Chennai, officers said on Monday, adding that around 18 kg of gold, worth Rs 8.5 crore, was also seized from them.
The city police identified the four accused in the case as Murugan, M Santhosh (30), V Balaji (28) and Suriya. Santhosh and Balaji have been arrested, they said. One Senthil Kumaran, who had helped the accused, was also arrested. The police have recovered two bikes and two cars from them.
According to the police, the incident happened around 02.30 pm on Saturday when the burglars fled with 31.7 kg of gold, worth Rs 15 crore, after tying up the firm’s employees in the strong room. The police reached the spot soon after, on receiving information from a customer who had arrived at the firm after the burglary.
Based on the complaint of the bank manager, the cops have registered a case and formed special teams to probe the incident. Addressing reporters on Monday, Chennai police commissioner Shankar Jiwal said the cops reached the spot within 20 minutes of the incident and initial inquiry found that only three people, including two staff members and a watchman, were present at the branch at the time of the incident.
“One of the burglars had already worked in the bank for about two and a half years. He and two of his accomplices carried out the burglary. We formed 11 special teams to trace the location and call records of the accused before the incident, and to look through the CCTV footage. We got a lucky break yesterday (Sunday). We have arrested three people in connection with the incident and identified the prime accused. We believe two or three more people might be connected with the incident and we are searching for them,” he said.
The commissioner said they will recover the rest of the gold in two to three days. He said all the accused involved in the crime had grown up in the same locality and had studied at the same school. “They had planned this burglary for a while. No one had any previous cases registered against them,” he added.