The police have recovered 5,780 carats of polished diamonds, worth over Rs 2.39 crore, and Rs 30 lakh cash from the bank locker owned by the mastermind of the gang that allegedly stole diamonds from the Zaveri Bazaar area.
Ajay Mehta, 48, a diamond trader from Goregaon (East), and his associates —Chandrasen Berde, 49, realty broker Shamshuddin Azmi, 47, and locksmith Farid Hasmi, 47 — were arrested by the crime branch on January 19 for allegedly cleaning out diamonds from eight lockers in Bank of India’s Opera House branch.
The police had recovered diamonds worth over Rs 4 crore from Mehta’s Valsad house.
During questioning, Mehta disclosed that he owned a locker in the same bank. “The locker was opened on Saturday.
We are trying to ascertain who the diamonds and cash belong to,” said Deven Bharati, additional commissioner of police, crime.
The total amount of diamonds and cash recovered has now gone up to Rs 7.09 crore.
The police had earlier received complaints about missing diamonds worth Rs 1.65 crore from diamond merchant Mehul Doshi. However, five more traders have come forward and lodged complaints.
Crime branch sources said the traders had complained to the bank. “We will ask the bank officials also why did they not lodge a complaint with the police,” said an officer from the Unit II crime branch, which is investigating the case.
The police haves also recovered 27 duplicate keys. The police have so far established the gang’s involvement in preparing duplicate keys for 16 lockers and looting the valuables kept inside.