One more accused in the Vasukutty murder case, evading the police since November 2009, was arrested on Monday by the Alappuzha Crime Branch probing the case.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Crime Branch Deputy Superintendent of Police K. Venugopal said Shyam alias Haridas (23), the fourth accused in the case, was nabbed from a relative’s house in Upputhara of Idukki district. Shyam — a native of Pathanamthitta but residing in Mumbai for the last six years — faces charges of harbouring the second and the third accused in the case,

Shijin and Renjith alias Luttappi, in Mumbai and also of receiving stolen property.

P.K. Vasukutty, a private banker in Pathanamthitta, was strangled to death in his car by first accused Biju, Shijin and Renjith on October 15. The body and the car were found near Mavelikara the following day after

the accused made off with nearly four kg of gold and cash. Biju was arrested in early December while the other two were nabbed in the last week of December.

According to Mr. Venugopal, Shijin and Renjith were schoolmates of Shyam and had got in touch with him when the Crime Branch’s trail got hot. Shyam gave asylum to them in Mumbai till December, when he

himself told the Mumbai Crime Branch of their whereabouts before going into hiding with the gold the duo had left with him.

Shyam had sold some of the gold for about Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 6 lakh and bought himself a Maruti Esteem and a Pulsar bike. He came to a relative’s house in Upputhara earlier last month along with his

parents and sister in the car. The Crime Branch traced him with the help of tower signals from his mobile phone.

Shyam was produced before the Pathanamthitta First Class Judicial Magistrate I on Tuesday and remanded to judicial custody. The Crime Branch has also submitted an application, requesting his custody for

12 days from Friday, Mr. Venugopal said.

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