Kerala Police have arrested four people accused of carrying out the largest bank heist in the state on New Year's Eve and recovered 57 kg of gold and Rs 551, 000 in cash.
A total of 80 kg of gold and Rs 2.5 million in cash were stolen from the South Malabar Gramin Bank branch Chelambra in Malappuram district, 180 km north of Kochi. The robbers drilled a hole from a restaurant on the ground floor to enter the bank functioning on the floor above.
"The main accused told us that he got the idea for the theft from the Hindi film Dhoom. In the film the burglars break into the bank from the roof. Here they drilled a hole from below," said Kundan Singh Jangpangi, additional director general of police north zone, at a press conference in Malappuram on Thursday.
"This was the largest bank heist in the history of the state," he added.
The four arrested are Joseph alias Jaison, a native of Melukavu in Kottayam district, Ragesh alias Shibu of Ollur in Thrissur, and Radhakrishnan and Kankeshwari from Koyilandy and Vatakara respectively in Kozhikode district.
"The accused carried out their operation after two months of planning. They made a detailed survey of the area." Jangpangi said.
"It is the first time that Kerala Police are recovering so much gold in a case of burglary," he said, commending the work done by the police team led by Malappuram Superintendent of Police P Vijayan.
The investigations took the police to neighbouring states. Acting on a tip off, the police raided a lodge at Nampally in Hyderabad Jan 12 and recovered 1 kg of gold.
"The accused has sold around 22 kg of gold in Bangalore, Chennai and Coimbatore. All the accused were arrested from a house in Kottooli in Kozhikode district," Vijayan said.
"I can't reveal whether more people are involved in the case as the probe is still on," he added.