Not 5 but 12 crores of gold robbed from Muthoot’s Durgapur branch

Though initial reports on the robbery at Durgapur’s Benachity branch of Muthoot Finance suggested that the robbers looted Rs 10 lakh in cash and gold ornaments worth about Rs 5 crore, but yesterday company official claimed that the valuation of gold ornaments and coins looted by the robbers is much more than the initial estimation. The final evaluation report prepared by the Kerala-based company today revealed that the gang of eight had taken away 36 Kg of gold ornaments and coins from the company’s branch at Benachity Durgapur. Going by the present market valuation, the robbers has thus looted gold worth nearly 12 crores.
On Saturday morning, a day after the incidence of robbery, senior Muthoot officials arrived in from the company’s regional headquarters in Calcutta to assess the ground situation and started an internal probe. The officials refused comment but the company said in a media release: “We assure all our customers and patrons that all their interest will be completely safeguarded. Our customers will not incur any loss as their ornaments are fully insured.” The statement further stated that the company is closely working with the police to nab the culprits, it stated.
However, the police is yet to nab a single culprit or suspect in what was the biggest such heist in recent memory. ADCP (East) Sunil Yadav visited the branch and spoke to officials and witnesses. Fingerprint experts also collected samples. Preliminary probe revealed that the goons, aged between 25 and 30, were speaking in Hindi. The police said all police stations in neighbouring districts and in Jharkhand had been alerted. “The robbers may not immediately try to sell the gold fearing arrest,” said Sunil Yadav, the additional deputy commissioner of police.
Ajay Kumar Nand, Asansol Durgapur police commissioner, said: “Though there was a huge amount of cash and ornaments kept in the branch, there was only one security guard with a double-barrel gun. That too, he joined two days back. There were seven alarms but none was used at the time of robbery. Both the branch manager and the assistant manager were on leave. Nobody on the ground floor heard anything either though the branch is located on the first floor at such a busy market place.” Investigations are on and the detective department has been asked to help out, added Nand.
A trader who has a shop near the Muthoot branch in Benachity said he did not see anyone coming or leaving on vehicles at the time of the heist. “A police jeep was patrolling the stretch then. How could they not spot eight youths walking down a road with rucksacks? Even if they had, they should have got suspicious,” he said.

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