Incidentally, it has emerged that the gang had actual police officers as well. The accused have been identified as Khushbuddin Mustafa Shaikh (26), the main conspirator, his brother Naseem Mustafa Shaikh (27), PSI Mahadev Ganpat Dhengle attached to the Marol Training camp, constable Mayur Dattatray Dangde, Bhaagaji Sakharam Jhavre (35), a driver with a retired DCP, and Abhijeet Kailash Salunkhe (25). Constable Dangde is attached to the Navi Mumbai ACP control room and was arrested from the ACP’s office. Jhavre was arrested from Colaba and Salunkhe was arrested from his residence at Pimpri, Pune.
A few more people were detained by the police and are likely to be produced tomorrow. MiD DAY had reported yesterday how the sketches of the accused resembled those of a suspended police officer and a constable (‘Suspended cop a suspect in Rs 6-crore Bandra heist’, November 20). A source from Bandra police said after committing the crime, the gang met at Navi Mumbai, distributed the valuables among themselves and escaped to their respective locations.
The main accused Khushbuddin has been working with Sai Couriers for several years. He formulated the plan two months ago and told his brother, who is also a driver, about it. The police said that in all, three cars were put to use in the robbery. The gang met three hours before the crime at Marine Drive, and then parted to carry out their respective roles in the heist.
A police officer from Bandra police station said, “From the very beginning, we suspected the role of Khushbuddin, because he failed to give satisfactory answers. The other accused, PSI Mahadev, claims to have not been completely aware of the gang’sintentions and says he was misled by Naseem, the elder brother.”
The officer added, “All the accused were produced before the court on Wednesday and sent to police Custody till November 27. We suspect they may be involved in other crimes as well.”
Courier firm heist
The incident occurred on Thursday night, when workers of Sai Couriers were transporting 60 bags of valuables to the airport. The valuables included gold, silver, diamond ornaments and imitation jewellery. Four workers, including the main accused, driver Khushbuddin, had kept the bags in a Maruti Swift, like every day.
As the vehicle reached the Western Express Highway over the railway tracks in Bandra, a taxi intercepted it. Four men got out of it -- two dressed in police uniforms and two in civilian attire. By the end of the encounter, the ‘cops’ had made away with the valuables, leaving the victims in the taxi.