Culprits had taken away ornaments worth Rs.1 crore
Robbers had sprayed chilli powder at the carrier of the gold at Karunagapally
The first clue was the newspaper with which the culprits had wrapped the chilli powder
KOLLAM: The Kollam police on Thursday arrested 10 persons from Thrissur on charges of attacking Santosh, a gold carrier, and decamping with his bag containing Rs.1 crore worth of gold ornaments at the Karunagapally railway station on August 29.
The ornaments from a Thrissur-based wholesale gold trader were meant for jewellery shops in Kollam.
Kollam District Superintendent of Police K. Sanjay Kumar said at the instance of the arrested men, about 4 kg of the stolen ornaments were recovered. Santosh was a regular carrier of gold ornaments. As he walked out of the station after alighting from the Kanyakumari-bound Island Express, he was accosted by three persons who came in a motorbike.
One of them sprayed chilli powder on his face, another person hacked him on the neck and the three then made away with the bag. The incident initially baffled the police. Mr. Sanjay Kumar soon constituted a special police team to crack the case. The first clue was the newspaper with which the culprits had wrapped the chilli powder.
It was a Thrissur metro pullout of a vernacular newspaper that led the investigating team to Thrissur. With the help of the cyber cell, the police got track of the culprits but on learning that the police were hot on their heels, the gang escaped to Bangalore. Though the police team followed them to Bangalore, they got wind of it and returned to Kerala via Salem.
The police then managed to arrest six of them from the Palakkad KSRTC bus depot. On interrogation, they confessed to the police that four others were hiding in a vacant shed inside a rubber estate at Kalloor in Thrissur. The police reached there and arrested the four.
It was after that the police succeeded in recovering a portion of the ornament the culprits had stashed. However, leader of the gang Rinto and three others are still at large. The police said all those arrested were involved in gold trade. This year itself, the gang had looted over 25 kg of gold from various places in the State.
The loot is melted and made into bars of 400 grams each and then sold. The police team comprised Karungapally Dy.SP K. Prasanna Kumar and Circle Inspectors Anildas, Rafeek and Madhu. The arrested were identified as Aneesh, Prijith, Radhakrishnan, Ratheesh, Sanjeev, Murali, Satheesh, Charly, Sheri and Mohandas.
The three involved in the heist at the Karunagapally railway station were Aneesh, Prijith and Radhakrishnan. Santosh had identified them, Mr. Sanjay Kumar said. All the arrested will be produced before a magistrate court here on Friday.