The Sion police have arrested an employee of a Hyderabad-based jewellery shop for allegedly tipping off his four friends about his Mumbai travel with assets worth ₹2.6 crore, and ultimately asking them to rob him. Two others have been arrested as well while Rs1.76 crore worth gold and cash have been recovered.
The incident occurred on May 31 when the primary accused, Prashant Chowdhary, along with a co-worker had come to Mumbai for collecting finished ornaments for their employer Naredi Jewellers.
Accused masterminded the entire plot
According to the police, Chowdhary hatched the entire plot. Four of his friends posed as Crime Branch officials from the Delhi police and whisked both of them away when they got down from the bus near the Highway Apartment at the Eastern Express Highway in Sion.
The accused told the duo that they needed to check the latter's belongings and asked them to get in their car. They then drove all the way to Bhiwandi and stopped at an isolated place near the Mumbai-Nashik Highway. There, they assaulted the duo, robbed their belongings, including wallets and mobile phones, and fled.
Subsequently, Chowdhary and the worker, who was accompanying him, filed a complaint with the Sion police and a probe ensued. The duo's questioning revealed the connivance of Chowdhary with the accused.
Cops swooped down on the robbers, two absconding
Based on the information procured from the main accused, the police launched a manhunt for his partners in crime. Several teams were formed to trace and nab the unidentified accused who were suspected to be from Hyderabad or Rajasthan. With the help of CCTV footage from highways, cops succeeded in tracking the movements of the car which was used in the crime. The vehicle was spotted entering Rajasthan, which led to the arrest of Mahendra Jhat, 23, and Manoj Kumar Singh, 33.
The police suspect that they had made this plan for a long time but never got an opportune moment to strike. The remaining booty is likely to be found when the two absconders are held.
A case has been registered under the charges of cheating, robbery, kidnapping, etc, against the accused.