Magnolias heist: Prime accused, two accomplices held in Nepal

  • Leena Dhankhar, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Apr 26, 2016 23:53 IST
Shanker, who was employed as a cook with the family, allegedly carried out the theft. (Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)

The prime accused and two accomplices in the multi-crore heist in an apartment in DLF Magnolias were arrested from Nepalganj in Banke district of Nepal, close to the Uttar Pradesh Border, on Saturday.

Shanker, who was employed as a cook with the family, had allegedly carried out the theft, while his accomplices Suraj and a woman fed him information needed to carry out the theft.

The trio were arrested after a long chase by Nepal police. Stolen booty worth crores -- comprising gold and diamond jewellery and cash -- was recovered from the arrested accused.

ACP DLF Ramesh Pal said, “We have got to know that the accused are arrested in Nepal but have not received any correspondence from the Nepal police yet. The family had also gone there and have returned.”

The grand theft in Magnolias apartment took place on April 2 when its owner Amit Rana was out of the country. His two children and a domestic help were in the flat at the time of heist. Shanker, after drugging the domestic help,broke into the lockers in the master bedroom and collected jewellery and cash in a bag. He then used Rana’s Jaguar to flee the highly secure apartment complex inside DLF Country and Golf Club.

Sources said the breakthrough in the case came from a mobile phone number which was obtained from Suraj’s brother by the Gurgaon police. Electronic surveillance of this number indicated that the trio were in Nepalganj area, the police said.

The arrest of the accused came after the Ranas approached the Nepal police and also hired a private security agency to track down the suspects. Information about Suraj and other details were shared with the Nepal police by the victims.

The private security agency was also tracking the trio after they crossed into Nepal, sources said. Most of the stolen ornaments and cash have been recovered from their possession, the police said.

Sources said the trio drove to Nepalganj as they wanted to avoid the vigil at airports. They reached Nepal via the Terai plains near the southern border with Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh,three days after the theft.

On the day of the theft, Rana’s wife Sheetal had left the apartment at 10.30am and was to return by 2.30pm -- before the children came from school. She was, however, invited for lunch by her sister and so she went to Nirvana Country in Sector 50 after asking the driver to bring the children there.

When the driver returned after dropping the children, he discovered the Jaguar missing from the parking area. He immediately informed Sheetal who rushed to the apartment and found that Shanker had fled with jewellery and cash. However, he abandoned the car about 500 meters from the apartment complex. The car was later recovered by the police.

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