The Vakola police arrested the driver of an NRI businessman along with his accomplices for allegedly robbing valuables worth Rs 92.86 lakh, which the businessman had kept in the care of his relative.The 26-year-old driver, Sumit Pande, had been employed by the NRI three months before he committed the crime.
The Vakola police have arrested Pande, his father and two others including a woman and recovered Rs 48.86 lakh worth stolen booty. Two others are wanted in the case. The officers said that the 74-year-old complainant Ramesh Badiyani, before going to Mahabaleshwar, decided to keep his valuables at his relative’s apartment in Santacruz and sought Pande’s help to carry them.
Co-incidentally, Badiyani’s relative also left for Kerala, leaving the NRI’s valuables in an empty house. “Using the opportunity to make a easy money, Pande planned the robbery along with three of his accomplices. On the night of February 14, the accused and his accomplices broke the window grill to gain access inside the ground floor flat in Nutandeep building located in Prabhat Colony, Santacruz (east),” said Milind Bharambe, Additional Commissioner of Police, west region.
Pande was assisted by a carpenter, an auto-driver and his friend in the crime. The four entered the premises from the backyard, and they walked away with American dollars, Indian currency and gold valuables and an iPhone collectively worth Rs 92.86 lakh. The incident came to light the next day when a resident noticed the broken grill and alerted the police. Following investigations, the police detained Pande, who confessed to the crime during interrogation. Following his confession, the police nabbed a carpenter Hasmukh Sharma, 42, along with Pande’s father Ramtej, 52, and Hajrabano Ansari, the auto-driver’s wife on February 19.
“Ramtej and Ansari had assisted them in hiding the stolen valuables. We have recovered Rs 48.86 lakh valuables from the residences of Pande and Ansari,” said Vinayak Mule, senior inspector at Vakola police station.The police have formed teams to locate the other two accused, who are at large.
Fire at tyre factory under control, cause unknown
The fire that broke out at the CEAT factory in Nahur was brought under control Monday. Three-four fire engines were present at the spot and cooling operations were on until evening. Fire brigade officials are questioning eyewitnesses to identify the cause.
“We have got the fire mostly under control, but there is still some fire at the source. Cooling operations are going on,” said P G Dhubal, assistant divisional fire officer. “There was a small leakage in the factory fire hydrant, but it was functional,” he added. According to officials, a 1,500-sq m raw material room was gutted. It comprises a ground floor, first floor and scrap area, and stores rubber and carbon black.
K V Hiwrale, deputy chief fire officer, said the location’s inaccessibility was a major problem during fire-fighting.
The fire broke out around 5.30 pm Sunday, injuring one person.
A statement from the management of CEAT said there was no loss of life or damage to the main plant. “Manufacturing activities at the plant have been temporarily suspended,” it said.
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