The Pune Crime Branch yesterday arrested Somnath Raghu Waghapure , the assistant manager of Manappuram Gold Loan Corporation’s Bhavani Peth branch, and one of his three accomplices, Tejas Rajaram Bhosale, for their involvement in Tuesday’s heist.
The officials recovered Rs 3.35 crore of the stolen booty comprising gold ornaments and cash that was worth Rs 3.39 crore.
According to the police, Waghapure was the mastermind, and was helped by his accomplices in executing the plot to burgle the Kerala-based gold finance company.
“After the incident, we were sure that it was an insider’s job. Based on this, we started investigation, and interrogated the staff. The crime branch officials narrowed down their investigation around Waghapure. During interrogation he confessed to the crime,” said Sanjeev Kumar Singhal, joint commissioner of police, while addressing a press conference.
Resident of Karnalwadi, a small village in Purandar taluka in Pune district, Waghapure holds a postgraduate diploma in business management from London, which he completed in 2010. After securing his diploma, he returned to Pune.
“After coming back, he started working as an assistant manager at a Khadaki branch of Manappuram Gold Loan Corporation. It was just seven day ago that he was transferred to the Bhavani Peth branch,” said Singhal.
How they did it
Speaking about the culprits’ modus operandi, Singhal said that on Tuesday evening, after the branch shut down at 7 pm, one of Waghapure’s accomplices called security guard Nand Kishor Kshirsagar on the office landline and asked him to come to a nearby chowk with the visitor register. The moment Kshirsagar stepped out, Waghapure despatched another accomplice to the office with duplicate keys.
“His accomplice executed the plan within 30 minutes and decamped with the booty comprising gold ornaments and cash,” said Singhal.
He said that all the suspects, including Waghapure, fled the city on their motorcycles and stashed the booty at one of Bhosale’s relative’s residence in Rakh village near Saswad.
“Waghapure had hatched the plot with three of his accomplices and had decided to execute it on Tuesday. He had taken keys’ imprints on a bar of soap, using which he made duplicate keys. Waghapure knew that the CCTV cameras installed in the office were not working and decided to take advantage of the situation,” said Senior Police Inspector, Sunil Deshmukh of the Crime Branch (Unit I).
The police have launched a manhunt for Nitin Gaikwad (25) and Akil Ambekar (28), the other two accomplices of Waghapure.
Waghapure completed his BSc in 2008 following which he took loan of Rs 10 lakh from the District Central Bank for pursuing higher education in London. In 2009, he enrolled for a PGDBM course at a London university.