Duo pretended to be from Delhi Crime Branch, one accused is nephew of complainant; two other accused are still at large
The accused arrested by Sion police
The Sion police have arrested three individuals involved in robbing gold, diamonds, and cash amounting to Rs 2.62 crore while posing as officers from the Delhi Crime Branch. Intriguingly, one of the accused is the nephew of the complainant who was carrying the valuable items alongside him. The investigation unveiled that the 23-year-old nephew was in contact with the prime accused. The police have successfully recovered property worth Rs 1.70 crore from the arrested individuals.
The incident occurred on May 31 when Prashant Chaudhry and his 31-year-old uncle, Hariram Ghotiya, employees of the renowned jewellery store Naredi Jewels owned by Santosh Naredi in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, arrived in Sion with gold biscuits, diamond jewellery, and cash, totalling R2.62 crore. As they alighted from a luxury bus near Highway Apartment on the Sion-Panvel Highway, four individuals intercepted them, claiming to be officers from the Delhi Crime Branch.
They forced Ghotiya and Chaudhry into a white Innova car and proceeded to Bhiwandi, where they seized the valuables and absconded in the car, along with their mobile phones. Ghotiya promptly informed his employer, who instructed them to report the incident to the Sion police station and file a complaint. Consequently, an FIR was registered against unknown persons under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including robbery, kidnapping, and impersonating a public servant.
To identify the vehicle that had pursued the bus, in which Ghotiya and Chaudhry had travelled, the police reviewed CCTV footage and obtained the registration number of a vehicle starting with TN. Tracing it back to a village in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, they discovered that the number plate was counterfeit.
Meanwhile, the police grew suspicious of Chaudhry due to inconsistencies in his statements. During intensive interrogation, he confessed his involvement in the robbery and disclosed the identities of his accomplices. Acting on this information, the police arrested Mahender Chandmal Jat, 23, and Manojkumar Jait Singh, 33. Chaudhry and Jat were acquainted as they had been classmates in college, while Singh hailed from Sikar and Jat from Churu in Rajasthan. According to the police, Jat, a car dealer, had arranged for the Innova used by the accused, which was driven from Hyderabad. Jat had allegedly influenced and persuaded Chaudhry to participate in the crime.
While reversing the tracking process of the vehicle, the police discovered that the accused had changed the registration plate from RJ (Rajasthan) to TN (Tamil Nadu). Prashant Kadam, DCP of Zone 4, stated, “Two more accused are still on the run. The arrested individuals are in police custody. Chaudhry provided information to others who followed the bus all the way from Hyderabad. Eight teams were formed to crack the case, with one each dispatched to Rajasthan, Pune, and Ganeshpuri. Over a two-day operation, we managed to recover items worth Rs 1.70 crore, including cash.”
The recovered property consists of 600 grams of diamond jewellery worth Rs 1 crore, 1 kg of gold worth Rs 55 lakh, and Rs 2 lakh in cash. “During the investigation, following leads from CCTV footage, we arrived at KVR Nagar in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu, where the Innova they were using was spotted. The local police confirmed that the vehicle belonged to a local resident. That’s when we realised that the gang was using counterfeit number plates while driving,” he added.
Value of property that cops recovered