The main accused in last fortnight's jewellery heist at a city hotel visited various jewellery shows in the country posing as a jewellery designer, the Bangalore police said.
The person claiming to be Pedro Alejandro Maitra Rodriguez (30), who is one of the four South Americans arrested by the Bangalore police, had visiting cards saying he was a jewellery designer. He used this pretext to collect information on the jewellery displayed at the exhibitions. He and the other three gang members, also arrested along with him in Goa on March 29, also trawled the internet.
The police suspect the Bangalore heist was planned after gleaning information from Latin American gangs specialised in theft of jewellery in Vicenza in Italy, a popular venue for such shows.
On March 22, jewellery worth Rs. 1.5 crore (not Rs. 7 crore as reported in these columns) of the Jaipur-based Derawala Jewellery was stolen from the hotel room of Vijay Saini, the jewellery firm's representative. The jewellery had some exclusive pieces made by the firm using Italian machines.
While Pedro used Maira Alejandra Aranago Giraldo (22), Elenilson Amilcar Pocasangre Ruano (34), and Luis Alberto Giraldo Lopez (25) for the Bangalore job, he used a different set of accomplices for a similar heist he allegedly pulled off in Chennai.
A police official involved in the investigation here said they have been able to get most of the information necessary to prosecute the gang. All the stolen jewellery has been recovered. They have also seized two cars used by the accused — one to move within Bangalore and another to reach Goa by road.