Did jewel thieves pull off similar heist in Bangalore?
The four foreigners, detained in Dubai for allegedly stealing diamonds worth Rs 6.6 crore from the India International Jewellery Show at Goregaon's NSE Grounds on Monday, were involved in a similar diamond heist at Bangalore in March, the police suspect.mumbai Updated: Aug 26, 2010 01:34 IST
The four foreigners, detained in Dubai for allegedly stealing diamonds worth Rs 6.6 crore from the India International Jewellery Show at Goregaon's NSE Grounds on Monday, were involved in a similar diamond heist at Bangalore in March, the police suspect.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said the four accused might have stolen Italian jewellery worth more than Rs 1.5 crore from the room of a Jaipur-based jeweller at Bangalore's Pride Hotel because of the similarities in the both robberies.
The jeweller was on a trade trip to Bangalore.
The Bangalore police had arrested four Latin Americans, including a woman, from Goa when they were trying to courier the diamonds to Columbia.
Interestingly, the Bangalore police too had managed to catch them based on the closed-circuit television grabs at the hotel.
However, after they got bail, the four “disappeared”.
The similarities in the two robberies are uncanny.
Both gangs comprised three men and a woman who seem to be part of the international diamond cartel specialising in heists when there is a show or expo.
On Monday, the four accused, posing as members of the gem and jewellery industry, made their entry into India International Jewellery Show.
While two kept Kobi Itzchaki, MD of the Israel-based diamond firm Dalumi Group, distracted, a third member of the gang sneaked into the storeroom and made away with a box containing 887.244 carats of diamonds.
The Crime Branch will send the CCTV grabs from the India International Jewellery Show to the Bangalore police to confirm if the same gang.
Roy said they could have used fake passports to visit India on August 17. The four arrested by the Bangalore police had different names and nationalities — they were all from Latin American countries —but in the Goregaon robbery, three had Mexican passports and the fourth a Venezuelan one.
The three accused with Mexican passports, including the woman, were put up at the Westin Hotel in Dindoshi, while the Venezuelan booked a room at JW Marriott in Juhu.
After the robbery, at 3.30 pm, they went to their hotels and immediately checked out. Airport check-in papers show that they had appeared for the security check at 7 pm — three hours prior to the Emirates flight departure.
“It was a meticulously planned heist,” said Roy.
The Mumbai police have stepped up efforts for the deportation of the four accused from Dubai through the external affairs ministry.
Sources said they are likely to be deported on Friday after diplomatic formalities are completed.