Police nab 6 out of 7 accused


PicsArt_1468331037943-copy-735x400IMPHAL, Jul 12: Thoubal district police arrested six out of seven accused in the robbery at Thoubal branch of HDFC bank a few days back apart from recovering most of the looted money and gold.
Police also arrested four employees of HDFC bank and other individuals who allegedly assisted the accused after the robbery.
Briefing media persons tonight at his office, K Radhashyam, SP, Thoubal district said that out of the 7 accused persons involved in the robbery, only the leader, identified as Mutum Gandhi alias Ibochao alias Robin (30) of Charangpat Mayai Leikai is absconding and best efforts are on to nab him.
The SP said that the police investigated the bank robbery case soon after it was registered following a report by Gideon Maram, Branch Manager, HDFC Thoubal branch at around 6.30 pm on July 4.
The looted amount was reported to be about Rs 87,70,805 and gold worth Rs 1,17,18,100. Due to the sensitive nature of the case, it was handed over to a SIT consisting of Additional SP (L/O) Rakesh Balwal, SDPO; Hemanta, SDPO; Shankar Deba, SDPO along with SI A Hemjit (IO of the case) assisted by Th Bidyapati, MPS (Probationary), he said.
The investigation began only in real sense after locating one of the stolen mobile phones of the bank staff. The mobile was located in Charangpat area, the SP said.
Intensive cordon and search operation made the accused nervous and in haste they started moving here and there. On July 5 morning, police source saw a man handing over a bag to one person identified as Arjun Singh. Arjun was then picked by the police.
The first recovery of gold and cash was made after examining Arjun which he received from one Thiyam Suresh, a suspect in the robbery, SP Radhashyam said.
Another man, Dillip Singh—who reportedly transported one of the robbers identified as Suresh to a foothill near Nongpok Sekmai—was also caught. One July 7, Suresh was also caught by a combined team of Nongpok Sekmai PS and 2 AR from Sikhong Sekmai. Police extracted more details of the case after interrogating him, he disclosed.
The involvement of seven persons—Mutum Gandhi, Thiyam Suresh, Thiyam Munan, Laishram Jayanta, Thiyam Suran, Thiyam James and Nahakpam Ramesh, in the robbery was then established.
Prior to this, the police also found that one relative of the main accused (Mutum Gandhi) was working in the HDFC Bank as housekeeper. From his examination, the role of one Ningthoujam Gokhale, a teller and cashier of the bank came into picture, the SP said.
During the examination of Gokhale, he admitted that he planned the whole robbery to hide the wrong doings in the bank, K Radhashyam said.
He inflated the looted amount to include the money they had secretly taken from the bank for their end amounting to about Rs 35 lakh, he said.
Out of the seven accused, six have been arrested while their leader Mutum Gandhi is still at large.
At the same time, four bank employees have also been arrested. The arrested bank employees are N Gokhale, teller/cashier; Khangembam Birla, Dy Branch Manager; Okram Nando, housekeeper and Laishram Jayanta, a guard.
Mutum (O) Gita w/o Gandhi is also arrested as she has big role in hiding the looted cash and gold, he said.
Saying that housekeeper Nando facilitated meeting between N Gokhale and Mutum Gandhi, Radhashyam said the police did not receive any CCTV footage from the bank yet.
Although the police had instructed the bank officials to make a revised estimate of the looted amount, the same is yet to be given to the police, he added. However, going by Gokhale’s statement, the actual looted cash may be somewhere between Rs 50-55 lakh.
So far, the police recovered Rs 17,06,840 and 4.697 kg of gold with market value of about Rs 1.30 crore. Besides, one Pulsar-150 bike and two Dio scooties said to be used in the robbery have also been recovered, he added.
Recovery is becoming very tedious due to noncooperation from the families and relatives of the accused, especially that of Mutum Gandhi, Radhashyam said while adding, “We are giving our best efforts to nab Gandhi and to recover remaining money and gold by repeatedly conducting raids and by sustained examination of all the accused and their family members.”


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