Amid suspicion that the booty in the Anto Alukkas jewellery shop heist in Tirupur has been smuggled into Bangladesh, the Tamil Nadu police have alerted the Border Security Force (BSF) to look for inter-State criminals operating across the border.
Based on the confession of three suspects apprehended in West Bengal in connection with the burglary, investigators believe that the booty was smuggled out of the country, police sources said on Tuesday.
The case pertains to the burglary of gold/diamond jewellery worth about Rs.10 crore from the jewellery shop in Tirupur on the night of February 20. Special teams formed to investigate the case followed specific clues and arrested Zia-ul-Sheikh, Halil-ul-Sheikh and Miraj Ali of Murshidabad district in West Bengal. A search is on to locate the suspected kingpin Abdhil and his associates Riaz, Polla and Topachu of Sahibganj district in Jharkhand.
“This inter-State gang was involved in major burglaries in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. Their modus operandi is to target jewellery shops in less secured areas, transfer the booty to Malda (West Bengal) by train and dispose of the same in Bangladesh,” a senior police officer said.
In the Tirupur case, the suspects came to Coimbatore a couple of months ago and surveyed the jewellery shops. After targeting the Anto Alukkas jewellery shop in Tirupur, they asked Zia-ul-Sheikh to arrange for gas cylinder.
“They made their way into the shop by cutting open the iron grills of the ventilator. Soon after committing the burglary, the suspects seem to have taken a train from Salem and escaped,” a senior police officer said.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) S. George said the State police had launched a special operation to keep a tab on criminals hailing from other states. He said Station House Officers were sensitised to acquire full knowledge about the people residing in their respective jurisdiction.
Tirupur Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan who led the special team said conventional investigation coupled with informant system and technology support helped in detecting the burglary. Senior police officials were camping in West Bengal to apprehend others involved and recover the booty.