A total of 1,381 sovereigns of gold jewellery and Rs.2 lakh were looted from a branch of Muthoot Mini Financiers (P) Limited company in the textile city on Saturday.

Branch manager K. Mathivanan said that soon after he opened the branch at 8.30 a.m., a gang of three persons entered the premises and attacked him from behind even as a few others stood guard at the entrance of the office situated on the first floor of a commercial complex.

The gang members tied his hands and legs and gagged him with a piece of cloth at knife-point. They then waited for the rest of the staff to arrive.

The locker could only be opened with a set of three keys, which was in the custody of three different persons, including the branch manger.

The other members of the staff, Preethi and Anandan, who had the other keys, arrived with another staff, Muthusamy, and a sub-staff, Rukimini, only to be tied up by the gang.

Two members of the gang reportedly sent the customers away on the ground floor itself, telling them to come later as a “meeting was under way” at the office.

Mr. Mathivanan told The Hindu that Rs.2,500 was taken from his pocket.

Soon after the gang escaped, some of the staff members managed to get the pieces of cloth out of their mouth and screamed attracting the attention of the public.

As the news spread, people who had pledged jewellery against loans thronged the office.

Vital clues obtained

Though the company was involved in huge jewel loan transactions, there were no CCTV cameras or burglar alarms set up on the premises.

Inspector-General of Police (West Zone) K. Vanniaperumal told The Hindu that police had obtained vital clues and were expected to solve the case soon. “We have formed four teams to investigate the case,” he said.