Mastermind of Rs 1.8cr Thrissur gold heist held, accused melted and sold some of the loot

Padayattil Sijo Jose. Photo: Special arrangement

Thrissur: Almost a month after a Rs 1.80-crore gold heist in Thrissur, the mastermind of the gang was arrested here on Friday. Padayattil Sijo Jose aka Oothappan (36), a resident of Karukutty in Ernakulam district, was arrested by the Thrissur Town East Police for looting gold ornaments weighing 3.152 kg.

Jose was arrested from a hideout near Angamaly by a team led by Thrissur Town East Police Inspector C Alavi. “Jose is the mastermind in the gold theft case. He along with the third accused, Saneesh, planned the robbery at a rented house in Aranattukara,” the police said.

After the incident, Jose fled to Tamil Nadu with the stolen gold, melted it and took it to Tirupur and Erode. There he sold the melted gold and shared the money with the other accused.

“We have seized a portion of the gold and cash from those locations,” said an officer who is part of the investigation team.

The incident related to the case took place on the night of September 8. The accused snatched gold ornaments from two workers of a jewellery manufacturing unit, 'JP Chains' situated at the Dee Pee Plaza Building on TB Road in Kokkalai in Thrissur town.

The workers were carrying the gold ornaments in a bag to the Thrissur Railway Station to be distributed to jewellery shops in Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. The manufacturing unit is situated just 200 metres from the railway station. Ten people, including the first accused, were arrested earlier in the incident in September.

According to the police, Jose is accused in at least five other cases, including robbery, breaking and entereing and attempted murder under the Angamaly police station limist, and robbery and abkari cases in Irinjalakuda and Chalakudy. He also has a case of robbery in Tirupur, Tamil Nadu. Jose was produced in a court and remanded.

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