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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Rs 10-cr heist at city’s diamond hub

Diamonds weighing 21,700 carats, worth an estimated Rs 10 cr, were stolen from an import-export store, reports Shahkar Abidi.

india Updated: Oct 18, 2007 02:09 IST
Shahkar Abidi
Shahkar Abidi
Hindustan Times

The city recorded its second major diamond heist in a week on Wednesday.

Diamonds weighing 21,700 carats, worth an estimated Rs 10 crore, were stolen from an import-export store located at the diamond trade hub Pancharatna between 7.30 pm on October 15 and 10 am on October 16.

On October 11, diamonds worth Rs 4.5 crore were stolen at the airport.

The police suspect that the theft at Arshit Gems, on the fifth floor of Pancharatna at Opera House, was an insider job.

No arrests have been made so far. "We are questioning the staff, former employees and the owners," said DCP (Zone 2) RE Pawar.

All security measures mandatory for the high-risk business were missing. According to the preliminary investigation, the diamonds were kept in a locked wooden drawer. "This shows negligence on the owner's part," said Pawar. A closed-circuit camera inside the store was switched off for the night.

But what puzzled the police is that though the crime came to light in the morning, it was only in the evening that a formal complaint was lodged by Hitesh Patel (35), cousin of the owner, Ramesh Patel (41). Hitesh ran the business. Nobody from Arshit Gems was available for comment.

A security officer from the building said: "We can't be blamed as nothing was broken. It is definitely the handiwork of an insider."

First Published: Oct 18, 2007 02:05 IST

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