Mumbai: In a plot reminiscent of Bollywood blockbuster ‘Special 26’, a gang of four impersonated Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials and ‘raided’ a bullion trader, only to decamp with 3kg gold and Rs25 lakh cash on Monday afternoon from the crowded Zaveri Bazaar area.
The Mumbai Police managed to track the gang and arrested all the four suspects in less than 24 hours of the crime, and recovered 2.5kg gold and Rs15 lakh cash from the loot.
According to the LT Marg police, two key suspects planned a bogus raid on VBL Bullion as ED officials and assaulted its staffer announcing a search of the premises for unaccounted gold and cash. Two other suspects simultaneously raided another office of VBL Bullion nearby to continue the charade of search.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Dr Abhinav Deshmukh said, “The duo forcibly entered the bullion trader office flashing ED cards and snatched the mobile phones of the employees asking for the owner ‘Virat’. The impersonators took the cupboard keys and removed three bags of cash totalling to Rs25 lakh. Both searched pockets of the employees in the office and took 2.5kg of 22 carat gold in possession of one Dasrath Mali and another 500gm gold from the counter of the office table.”
The first team handcuffed the employees and confiscated the seized gold and cash and took them along to the old office of VBL Bullion for further questioning. The other team, which raided the second office, assaulted its manager Vijaybhai Shah, demanding to know the whereabouts of the owner. The frightened employees denied any knowledge; they were asked to return to the office and wait to record statements.
The employees realised something amiss when the ‘officers’ didn’t return and alerted their owner and started a search for the missing officers in the neighbourhood. “The bullion employees were hesitant to file a complaint fearing reprisal but the police team gained their confidence to lodge an FIR,” said DCP Deshmukh.
A team was formed to gather CCTV footage from the vicinity of the bullion office and the suspects were identified and tracked to their hideouts in Dongri and Malvani.
The masterminds, identified as Mohammed Fazal Gilitwala and Mohammed Ahmed Rafiq, were arrested. They spilled the beans on the other two suspects. Both were presented in magistrate court and have been remanded to police custody for seven days. The third suspect Vishakha Mudhale was arrested from Khed in Ratnagiri and the fourth is still absconding.