Initial investigations into the May 25, 2009, heist at the airport frustrated the police. While they figured that an insider was involved in the theft of the gold and silver coins worth Rs 47 lakh, the checks into the employees’ backgrounds at the cargo complex yielded no clues.
“We could not find anyone who could have been involved,” said an officer said on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media. He said Suresh Kamble, 27, the mastermind of the heist, was a casual loader and managed to evade scrutiny.
Police lost valuable time as an informer led them to Nashik on a false tip-off. It turned out the informer was taking the police on a wild goose chase so he could live off them for a while.
Suresh, who first surfaced on the police radar after he threatened a scrap dealer at Andheri, managed to stay out of investigators’ grasp as none of the witnesses to the heist could identify him. It was only after Kamble began boasting about murdering Bhoor Singh Solanki, a scrap dealer who dealt in stolen merchandise, in August this year that the police started getting leads on him.
“Kamble did not have any previous offence registered against him,” the officer said It was only when police made inquiries about someone trying to dispose of stolen merchandise that they found out about Kamble. It was his lifestyle that was a giveaway — he often spent up to Rs 40,000 during a single night.