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Chennai gold heist: 3 nabbed for FedBank robbery; 18 kg gold recovered

Tamil Nadu Police have arrested three men for robbing 32 km of gold from FedBank Financial Services Ltd, a fast-gold loan unit, at Arumbakkam in Chennai. Police have recovered about 18 kg of gold and are on the lookout for two more men in connection with the incident.

FedBank Financial Services (FedFina) is a non-banking financial services (NBFC) unit of Federal Bank.

The two arrested persons were identified as M Santhosh (30), his friend V Balaji (28) of Villivakkam and Senthilkumaran of Chennai. Police arrested Santhosh and Balaji near Red Hills on the outskirts of Chennai when the duo was trying to escape with the booty, while Senthilkumaran was arrested in Chennai.

The robbery

On Saturday (August 13) afternoon, three masked men barged into the FedBank outlet and snatched the keys of the strong room from the NBFC branch manager K Suresh after locking Suresh and R Vijayalakshmi, a staff member, in the branch’s restroom. They robbed 32kg of gold from the outlet.

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After robbing the jewels, the gang locked Suresh and Vijayalakshmi inside the strong room and fled the spot. After being alerted, police rushed to the spot and probed the matter.

Investigations revealed that one Murugan was the mastermind of the robbery, who was also an employee of FebBank. Murugan worked at the organisation’s Virugambakkam branch for two-and-a-half years and was moved to the Padi branch in Chennai, a couple of months ago.

Confirming the arrest, Chennai Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal on Monday (August 15) said that they are on the lookout for the prime accused Murugan and one more person Suryah, who too is involved in the case. “We have found the whereabouts of Murugan and he too will be arrested soon,” Shankar said.

To a query on whether the robbers were inspired by any movie, Shankar said, “Since he (Murugan) had put up a picture of actor Ajith as his WhatsApp display picture, there is speculation that they were inspired by the actor’s movie. But, we are yet to confirm it. They were basically involved in the robbery to get easy money in a short time. Further details will be known only after arresting the accused.”

The network

Investigation with the arrested persons revealed that all the four people knew each other since their school days. “They were all friends and knew each other for years. They have shared the booty between them so as to transport them easily to different locations,” police said.

Also read: Robbery prank goes wrong as cops shoot man dead in US

Explaining the role of Senthilkumaran, police said that he helped the gang with the vehicles. “He has given cars for the gang to escape after committing the robbery. We have seized two cars and one two-wheeler from the arrested persons,” police said.

The commissioner also assured that the rest of the gold looted from the NBFC branch will also be recovered once the remaining two accused people are arrested.

Police have formed six special teams to arrest the remaining two people who are on the run.

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