A Hyderabad gold heist planned in Peru, with help from Bengaluru
In what is being touted as the first ever case of global gold hunters operating on Indian soil, police unearthed a nexus all the way from Peru to Bengaluru to Hyderabad. Four Nigerians arrested in Bengaluru led to the discovery of a Peruvian gang that plotted and executed a Rs 1.5 crore gold heist in Hyderabad.
Police have found that the heist orchestrated with precision was plotted 17,000 km away in Lima by a Peruvian gang. The plan was executed with the help Bengaluru-based Nigerian nationals. Gold worth Rs 1.5 crore was stolen from a businessman's car in April. Thieves waylaid jeweller Abhishek Agarwal's car, distracted him and made away with the gold.
Peruvian gang that included two men and a woman diverted Agarwal's attention by puncturing his sedan's rear tyre with nails. While Agarwal and his aide were busy replacing the flat tyre, the woman opened the car's door and walked away with a bag containing 3.5 kg gold. It is now learnt that the heist followed days of recce of gold outlets in Hyderabad.
The heist was caught on CCTV cameras placed near the venue. On observation, Cyberabad police zeroed in on a white Toyota Camry vehicle that had a Maharashtra registration number. The car was following the businessman's vehicle. Thanks to the analysis of CCTV footage on toll plazas, the police concluded that the car entered Devanahalli check post near Bengaluru on April 17.
Tracking a global gold hunters' nexus
Mobile phone activity analysis during the time of the crime gave officers of a special investigating team three numbers used often by the gang members but the same had gone silent after April 16. The registration number of the car used by the offenders led the police to Pankaj Satyanarayan Saraf on whose name the vehicle was registered in Mumbai. Officials were told that he had sold the car way back in 2015. The car was sold to Khaled, a resident of Bengaluru. Police teams soon reached Bengaluru for further investigations. Khaled told the cops that he had sold the car to Nigerian nationals Michael and Balkins, the sale was as recently as April 6.
The two Nigerian nationals were identified and questioned. During interrogation, the police learnt that they had helped a gang in the theft. In their statement to the police, the Nigerian nationals confessed that three Peruvians had committed the crime. Police also learnt that they had made fled to Nepal by road and then escaped to Malaysia with the loot. Out of the gold worth Rs 1.5 crore stolen, police managed to recover 130 gms of gold, the car used in the heist and debit and credit cards of the Nigerian nationals. Police claimed that action would be taken to issue an Interpol red-corner notice against the three Peruvians and one Nigerian who are on the run. In 45 days, 200 policemen cracked an international nexus of thieves and managed to recover some of the stolen gold.