Mumbai-based jeweller Anil Shantilal Semlani (33), who operates from Zaveri Bazar, had lodged a police complaint, after his employee tasked with ferrying the gold told him that some persons had robbed him during the train journey at Lonavala.
Police said they made the breakthrough after the employee broke down during investigations, and confessed to cooking up a fake robbery story to repay a debt taken from one of the arrested accused.
The accused have been identified as Kishansingh Karansingh Rathod (22), the employee, Vikramsingh Mulsingh Chundawat (23), both natives of Rajasthan, Shrikant Govind Munde (23), and Himanshu Pramod Chaudhary (19), both from Gujarat. The main accused, Hitesh Bhagu Ahir alias Guddya from Vapi in Gujarat, however, is still absconding.
“Rathod had borrowed money from Chundawat but was having difficulty in repaying it. Chundawat then asked Rathod to tell his employer that some unknown persons had robbed him while he was transporting the gold from Hyderabad to Mumbai,” said Abhay Parmar, Railway’s Police Inspector.
“When Rathod narrated the robbery incident on November 12, the complainant suspected foul play. He reported the incident to the railway police at CST who then asked Pune Railway police to investigate the case, as Lonavala falls under their jurisdiction. On November 18, a case was registered and when we interrogated Rathod many discrepancies cropped up in his version of the alleged robbery incident. Later when we thoroughly interrogated him, the role of all the accused was revealed,” Parmar added.
Rathod had also initially misled us by giving us wrong addresses of his accomplices, saying that they were hiding in Udaipur, Rajasthan. When our teams reached there, we realised he was lying, and that the accused were taking refuge in Vapi, Gujarat. “Accordingly raids were conducted at their residences and the accused were nabbed. The stolen gold bars of 34-grams worth Rs 10.6 lakh was recovered from Chundawat’s possession who had concealed it in a bag,” Parmar said.