A close friend turned out to be the key conspirator behind the sensational firearm attack on jeweller Jayantho reported more than a month ago at Kalasiguda in Secunderabad.

While Jayantho’s friend Debashish of West Bengal and six other members of the gang are absconding, the Mahankali police arrested four persons on Tuesday. Three knives and two bikes were recovered from the arrested -- Osman Ali, Liaqat, Khaled and Sk. Sarfaraz , said North Zone DCP Ch. Srikanth.

All the accused persons hail from West Bengal. Two of them, Bappi and Basheer, suffered losses in business and were looking out for means to clear their debts when they decided to commit robberies. Debashish, settled in Hyderabad, was also into jewellery business and a close friend of Jayantho.

He told one of Basheer’s friends hailing from the same district that Jayantho used to carry huge quantities of gold as part of business transactions. “Jayantho completely trusted Debashish and used to even share minute details of his transactions. Unaware of his plot, Jayantho revealed to Debashish in the first week of May that he had procured a kilogram of gold from Vijayawada,” the investigators said.

The jeweller’s friend passed on the information to Basheer and Bappi, both of whom sent a gang from West Bengal to Hyderabad with three short firearms. On the night of May 8, the jeweller was coming down the staircase of his house accompanied by Debashish when the gang attacked him.

One of the attackers fired at him from a close range but the bullet ricocheted after hitting the wall and the splinters hit him resulting in minor injuries. The gang also snatched away a bag from the jeweller’s hand without realising it was empty.

Though the investigators pursued the case from different angles, the jeweller never expressed any suspicion about the possible complicity of his friend who was also present during the attack. Eventually, the police got a tip-off and caught all the four members of the gang.