Kerala

20 kg gold looted at knifepoint from cooperative bank in Kerala

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Armed men who came on motorcycles took away Rs. 13 lakh in cash too.

Five armed and masked men walked into a cooperative bank branch here and made away with around 20 kg of pawned gold ornaments, valued at Rs. 5 crore, and about Rs. 13 lakh in cash, on Monday noon.

The hold-up occurred around 2 p.m. at the Eriyal branch of the Kudlu service co-operative bank. The police said there were only two women staff and a woman customer in the bank situated on the National Highway, when the masked men, who had arrived on motorbikes, barged in.

The bank manager was out for lunch then and the bank has no security systems such as CCTVs in place. Brandishing knives, the burglars closed the entrance and dragged senior clerk Lakshmi, 52, to the strong room, forcing her to open it, Superintendent of Police A. Srinivas said.

The intruders confined the other bank clerk, Bindu, 35, to her seat and stuffed cloth in the mouth of Khamara Banu, the lone customer, holding her against the wall. The gang also took away the 25 sovereign gold ornaments Banu had brought to the bank to pledge to meet the medical expenses of her hailing husband, sources said.

The robbers then snatched the gold chain of one of the employees, locked the three women inside the bank, and left. All they left behind was a pen knife, the police said.

Senior police officers rushed to the bank, from which 7 kg of gold ornaments was looted in 2001. The police had managed to recover 6.5 kg of it and arrested six people who are still undergoing jail terms.

The police have launched manhunt for the burglars, all said to be youngsters, and have expanded their probe to Karnataka.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 8:44:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/20-kg-gold-looted-at-knifepoint-fromcooperative-bank-in-kerala/article7625961.ece

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