In a daring daylight robbery,four men on mortorcycles stopped a taxi on Meghdoot Bridge along Marine Drive on Tuesday morning and stole Rs 45 lakh from employees of a bullion company at gun-point. They also took away keys to the taxi to ensure the victims do not chase them.
Ratnakar Rai (27) and Madhukar Bhagne (45),employees of National India Bullion Refinery (NIBR) in Zaveri Bazaar,told police they boarded a taxi at 10.30 am at Surti Hotel,15 metres from the NIBR office in Mittal Court Building,to deposit the money and cheques for an unspecified amount at the Saraswat Bank branch in Marine Lines.
Ten minutes later,as the taxi approached the end of the bridge,two men on a motorbike forced it to stop. At the same time,another two men on an Activa stopped behind them. All had their faces covered with handkerchiefs.
The four then attacked the taxi removing its keys and trying to grab the sack containing the money. When Rai and Bhagne resisted,one of the robbers pulled out a revolver and threatened to shoot.
Rai,who was in the rear seat holding the sack,panicked and surrendered. The thieves then drove off down the bridge towards Marine Lines.
The shocked victims paid the taxi driver and returned to their office to report the robbery.
Police are examining footage from CCTV cameras at the bottom of the bridge to verify statements given by Bhagne and Rai.
We are checking if there are discrepancies. We will scan the footage but identifying the robbers will be difficult since they had their faces covered. An FIR has been registered and the four unknown men booked under IPC sections 341 and 397 and section 325 of Arms Act, said Zunjarrao Gharal,senior inspector.
NIBR owner said he did not suspect his employees. Bhagne has been working for us for the past 22 years. The thieves scared him with a gun. I am sure CCTV footage will help police catch the robbers, said Ajay Arora.
Driver held for stealing Rs 3.5 lakh
Driver Ayaan Shaikh (25),who allegedly stole Rs 3.5 lakh from his employer,Aayesha Khan,in Khar around a month ago,was arrested in Surat on Monday after the manager of a hotel there became suspicious seeing him splurge money. Police said on September 25,Khan of Bhayander had gone to Khar for work. She told Shaikh to wait near Link Square Mall. When Khan returned,she found Shaikh and the money kept in the car missing. His mobile was switched off. By the time Khan approached Khar Police and a complaint was registered,Shaikh had fled the city.