Chennai

Chennai loan company looted of 32 kg of pledged gold

Police officers speak to depositors outside the Federal Bank branch in Arumbakkam, Chennai on August 13, 2022. M. VEDHAN

Police officers speak to depositors outside the Federal Bank branch in Arumbakkam, Chennai on August 13, 2022. M. VEDHAN | Photo Credit: VEDHAN M

In a gold heist, three men allegedly looted a loan company of about 32 kg of jewellery pledged by its customers here on Saturday.

The police put the value of the loot at ₹16 crore, and said three suspects — a staff member and his associates, targeted the Fedbank-Gold Loans office on the busy Razak Garden Main Road at Arumbakkam in the afternoon, when the branch was closed and there was not much activity.

"At the time, three staff members were present at the office. One of them then went out and just minutes later, three men who wore masks barged in. They dragged and pushed the two staff, one male and one female, and the security guard into the washroom before taking the keys of the strongroom. The trio quickly looted all jewellery from the vault and fled on two motorbikes," a police official said.

It is suspected that the staff member who had gone out just before the robbery had returned with his associates wearing a mask to rob the place.

Additional Commissioner of Police T.S. Anbu said, "Preliminary investigation has revealed that Murugan, a staff member who worked as regional development officer, looted the jewellery along with two others. We have collected details about him. Further investigation is on." 

One of the staff managed to alert the police at 3.30 p.m. Joint Commissioner of Police S. Rajeshwari and other officers also inspected the spot. Fingerprint experts collected samples and police personnel are scrutinising CCTV footage.

City Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal said, "Our investigation clearly revealed the involvement of Muruguan and two of his associates. The trio took the keys of the strongroom and locked the two employees in a room and escaped with the gold in carry bags. Around 32 kg gold jewellery pledged by the customers went missing. Five teams have been formed to trace the accused."

Police said Murugan’s role in the firm was to canvas for loans. His associates looked like bouncers and one of them gave the security staff cold drinks laced with sedatives but this did not work, an officer added.

Bank staff were also questioned on the sequence of events. Police said the exact sequence will be known only after they question everybody, acknowledging that all pieces of the puzzle are not known at the moment.  

Meanwhile, apprehensive customers who had pledged their jewellery with the branch gathered near the premises. Police officers assured them that steps are being taken to trace the accused quickly and their jewellery would be recovered soon. Police have beefed up security at the premises.


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Printable version | Sep 16, 2022 9:30:37 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/over-32-kg-of-gold-jewellery-looted-from-gold-loan-company-in-chennai/article65765931.ece