The Gautam Budh Nagar police on Friday arrested six men on charges of stealing valuables worth ₹25 crore, including 40 gold bars and cash, from a high-rise flat in Surajpur in September 2020. But what is puzzling the police is that till date, no theft of this magnitude was reported from Surajpur, leading them to believe that the looted valuables may be contraband or “black money”.
Police said on questioning the suspects, they allegedly revealed that they committed the theft in September 2020. When police attempted to contact the flat owner, they could not trace him.
Further investigation revealed that the flat owner had a case of extortion against him in Gurugram and the police suspect that the valuables may have been illegally amassed.
According to police, an informant had tipped them off about two men who were allegedly involved in a crime. When the two were apprehended in Noida’s Salarpur, police found 1kg of gold biscuits with each of them. When questioned, they allegedly confessed to having stolen the valuables from a high-rise flat, along with eight others. That information led to the arrest of four more suspects.
Deputy commissioner of police (Zone 1) Rajesh S said two gangs had tied up to carry out the loot.
“The suspects said after the theft, each of them received four gold biscuits and ₹65 lakh cash as their share from the mastermind,” he said.
Police recovered 13kg gold biscuits, jewellery worth ₹6.55 crore, an SUV, documents of property worth ₹1 crore and ₹57 lakh from the suspects.
The mastermind of the operation — police identified him as Gopal, who is currently on the run — allegedly held all the details of the theft and the arrested men could only give police the name of the society where the flat is located.
“Suspects in custody claim that they had only specific information about the owner who, along with his father, is currently outside the country. But he has several family members in the city but no one came forward to report the robbery and neither are they co-operating with the investigation,” said a senior police officer, who did not wish to be named.
Police said they suspect that the flat owner may be involved in several more extortion cases and that he probably did not report the crime as the valuables were possibly obtained illegally.
“The case is being referred to the income tax department and the Enforcement Directorate. Meanwhile, we are on the lookout for the rest of the gang of robbers,” said Rajesh.
The six suspects were booked under Section 414 (assisting in concealment or disposal of stolen property, knowing it to be stolen) of the Indian Penal Code at the Sector 39 police station, and sent to judicial custody.