Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: A gang suspected to be involved in major robbery cases was busted here on Monday.

It had a well-organised network of informers, who passed on information on cash transactions at jewellery shops, particularly in Madurai.

According to police sources, Commissioner of Police, R. Sekar, had formed a special team to investigate the robbery near the Koyambedu bus stand on July 14, in which armed gangsters attacked two jewellery shop employees and escaped with Rs.40 lakh.

The team led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Anna Nagar), M. Pandian, arrested seven suspects involved in the case and recovered Rs.19 lakh from them. A hunt was on to apprehend M. Thomayarajan alias Rajan (35) of Poondi (Ariyalur district), who masterminded the robbery. He was involved in at least 30 such cases and released from the Puzhal central prison recently.

Tip-off

Following a tip-off, police cornered Rajan at Sengundram on Sunday. Based on his inputs, they nabbed A. Ismail Faisal (25) and Umar Farooq (49) of Kayalpattinam. The modus operandi of the gangsters was to gather information on cash movement from jewellery shops to other destinations by road or rail.

They would pass on the information to other members of the gang and organise the robbery at an appropriate time and place. A search is on to apprehend another suspect Ali (32) of Kayalpattinam.

“We recovered Rs.4.45 lakh cash and 8 sovereigns of gold jewels from the trio. Ismail Faisal and Ali had planned to escape to the Middle-East. Since the accused were targeting mostly unaccounted money, not many incidents came to notice.

It appears that they have been operating for many years now. Information on money transaction often came from a suspect lodged in the Palayamkottai central prison in connection with a narcotics case,” a senior police officer said.

Ali, who is absconding, was among the gangsters who posed as Income Tax officials and raided a silver merchant’s premises at Thrissur in Kerala. He decamped with about 350 kg of silver. He was also involved in a few offences in Andhra Pradesh, the official added.

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