Giving his original Aadhaar card to the guard at the branch of Manappuram Finance on New Railway road in Gurgaon to gain entry led the police to the prime accused in the ₹10-crore gold heist carried out by the seven to eight member gang.
Burgeoning debt and the greed to earn a large sum of money within a short span of time led the gang, comprising educated graduates, to carry out the daring daylight heist, the police said.
The robbers who had decamped with 32.5 kg gold and ₹8 lakh in cash on Thursday from the branch were arrested on Saturday from Gurgaon and Ahmedabad.
Police recovered 30 kg gold, some of the cash, two pistols and four rounds from the accused. Two motorcycles, and a car were also seized from them.
What helped the police to crack the case in barely 48 hours was that Devender alias Deva, resident of Jind, who is said to be the kingpin, had given his original Aadhaar card to the guard for entering details, which led the police to his village. The police questioned his cousin and obtained crucial details from him.
Police also managed to track the girlfriend of one of the accused, staying in Gurgaon, and questioned her on Friday evening leading to the arrest of the three accused from DLF Phase 3 the next day.
Gurgaon police commissioner Sandeep Khirwar said this case was a major challenge for the police. “The CCTV footage from the branch and the surrounding area really helped in unravelling the case. More information about the conspiracy would come out after sustained questioning,” Khirwar said.
Hoshiyar Singh alias Manoj Saini and Devender alias Deva have been identified as the main members of the gang, who along with Vikas Gupta had called four youth from Kanpur to assist them in the crime.
After committing the heist, three men from Kanpur returned with some gold and cash.
Deva went to Ahmedabad to dispose of the gold, while the other three remained in Gurgaon.
Hoshyiar Singh is a graduate. He runs a dhaba and also doubles as a bookie. He had a debt of almost ₹20 lakh.
Devender and his cousin Bijender were running a call centre and did some outsourcing work, the police said.
Vikas Gupta, who hails from Kanpur, worked as real estate agent and he rented out property. He was the one who called accomplices from Kanpur to carry out the heist.
The police said all men were either under debt or had no regular income, which led them to plan the daring robbery.
On the day of the heist, the accused used an autorickshaw and two motorcycles to reach the crime spot, where Devender entered the branch and posed as a customer.
Soon after, the gang held up the entire branch and, within 25 minutes, wiped out the lockers. They split into three groups after the crime with men from Kanpur returning to the city, Devender flying to Ahmedabad and other three returning to their hideout in DLF Phase 3.
Sumit Kuhar, DCP (crime) said the criminals destroyed all the phones and SIM cards that they had used. “They committed some basic mistakes and the police did a lot of homework to nab the accused. Technical, human ,and other modes of surveillance were used to track them,” he said.
The police said the other accused will be arrested soon.
“We had tracked the families of the accused in Haryana and Kanpur . All other conspirators will be arrested soon,” said ACP Sanjeev Balhara.