The four foreigners, who were arrested in connection with the Rs 6.6-crore diamond heist from a trade fair at Goregaon (East) last week, have claimed that they were in India to see the Taj Mahal and not to commit the crime.
Guerrero Lugo Elvia Grissel (24), Campos Molan Elias (39), Gonzalez Maldonado Mauricio (24), from Mexico, and Gutierez Orlando, a Venezuelan, have told the police that they had chalked out their Indian tour well in advance to visit the Taj at Agra.
It was Perez Hender Valmore, the fifth and the wanted accused, who had misled them.
The accused are being interrogated through Spanish interpreters. Sources in the Crime Branch told HT on Wednesday that the four said they did not know Valmore before they came to Mumbai on August 17 from Paris. While Orlando, Gurrero (husband and wife) and Campos stayed in Westin Hotel at Dindoshi, Gonzalez was staying at the JW Marriot Hotel in Juhu.
Valmore too was staying at the Marriot where he met Gonzalez. Valmore joined the four at a food festival in Westin and they became friends, sources said.
They have also claimed that though they visited the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS) on Valmore’s invitation, they did not have any knowledge about the heist, adding Valmore had committed the crime.
The police termed their statement an eye-wash. “First, Taj Mahal is not in Mumbai. If they wanted to see Taj, they should have landed in Delhi and not here. As they are aware that most of the foreign tourists visit India to see the Taj, that is why they are trying to deceive us. Their claims that Valmore misled them is all lies as they not only actively participate in the crime, but took share of the booty,” said an officer from the Unit XII crime branch.
“We know they are lying. We are collecting all evidence to prove them wrong,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Deven Bharati.