Spanish word helps crack impossible case

Updated: 14 December, 2019 08:05 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

Tailor says he had to scan 10,000 bills before he could find who had got shirt, that was found on Bennett Rebello's body, stitched

Afroz Ahmed Ansari, the tailor
Afroz Ahmed Ansari, the tailor

A tag on the collar of a shirt — that read Almo — found in the suitcase full of body parts and the sharp eye of a tailor were the first leads in the murder case, which helped confirm Rebello's identity. The main link in the Suitcase Murder was tailor Afroz Ahmed Ansari, who scanned nearly 10,000 bills at his shop, Almo Men's Wear in Kurla.

The 42-year-old told mid-day that he was first approached by the Crime Branch Unit V at 5 pm, just 30 minutes after they found the trolley bag containing a right leg, left hand and male genitals, along with a few clothes at Mahim beach on December 2.

"Crime Branch officers seized all my bill books, around 100 of them. Around 30 minutes after that, Mahim police officers arrived and asked for the same. They then asked me to come to Mahim police station on December 3," said Ansari.

"Mahim police were trying to match the colour of the shirt with the piece of fabric pinned on my bill book. But it was very difficult to match them. So I took the recovered shirt's measurement at Mahim police station itself to match it with the ones in my bill book," Ansari recalled.

The shirt's size was extra large. The next day, Ansari was summoned at Crime Branch's Unit V where he scanned the bill books and looked for the measurements taken the previous day.

He found the measurements for Rebello's shirt on a bill dated April 18, 2019, with the customer's sign being 'Bennett'. The customised shirt was delivered on April 22. "This was the lead Crime Branch used to trace Bennett and his residence," he said.

Ansari established his tailoring shop in 1999. He picked the word 'Almo' from his father's old garage at Malabar Hill, which was called 'Almo Auto Garage'. "Almo is a Spanish word, which means 'rooh' (soul)," Ansari said.

No. of bill books that Afroz Ansari had to search through

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First Published: 14 December, 2019 07:46 IST

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