In what is being called the Biggest Robbery in Udaipur, 5 people barged into the offices of Mannapuram Finance at Sundervas in Udaipur and looted between 25-26 kg of gold ornaments worth more than Rs 14 Crore and cash to the tune of Rs 11 lakh.
The incident occurred in broad day light at around 9.22 am, when the bike borne accused came to Sundarvas branch of the Manappuram Finance (Gold Loan) and barged into the premises when the staff members were busy in their daily routine. The accused reportedly shouted at them and pulled out country made pistols and kept the people hostage inside the branch, including the Branch Manager, Pawan Kumar Meena; Assistant Manager, Sher Singh Meena; House Keeeping Assistant, Bhawna Meghawal; Junior Assistant, Sonu Chaparwal and Relationship Executive Monu Meena. All the present staff members were tied up with rope and the accused fled with the gold ornaments and cash kept in the lockers in the strong room.
In a statement to the media, Mannapuram Finance Limited assured that they are cooperating fully with the investigation and also assured their customers that there will be no loss to their property pledged with Mannapuram Finance, as the gold is fully insured and a policy is in place to compensate customers with equivalent gold should the jewellery not be traced or recovered.
When a customer reached the branch, they discovered that the staff members were lying on the floor with their hands and legs tied up. He then freed them all and they later called the police as well as informed the Area Manager about the incidence.
While talking to Udaipur Times, the Auditor of the company, Durgesh Sharma said that the entire episode happened in mere 18 minutes between 9.22 am to 9.40 am. He got a call from the Area Manager at around 9.55 am informing him about the incident. He along with his team member Sandeep Yadav rushed to the scene where they found that police had already arrived. In the interaction, Durgesh mentioned that the branch has 6 staff, out of which one Khushbu Kunvar Bhati was on leave. The Branch Manager Pavan Kumar was beaten by the accused; they snatched the keys of the room from him and took away the gold ornaments and cash. They fled the scene in such a way that no-body around even realized that they have committed a robbery that is believed to be Udaipur division’s biggest incidence of robbery so far.
Sharma further added that the gold was a deposit of around 1100 customers of the branch. He said that the branch is well equipped with safety devices, but as all were kept hostage by the accused no one could even use those devices to raise the alarm. When asked about the security guard he said that as per company’s policy there is no security guard deployed at the branch.
A formal case has been registered against the unidentified accused and a man hunt has been launched on the basis of the CCTV footage of the cameras installed at the building of the finance company and nearby buildings as well. In the CCTV footages it can be clearly seen how the masked accused entering the premises of the branch, brandishing the pistol and dragging the staff members to the ground and creating ruckus. Various police teams were constituted by IG Praful Kumar and SP Vikas Kumar Sharma to identify and to arrest the accused. Besides this road barricading has been done at various circles and exits of the city.