In a broad daylight dacoity, five armed assailants decamped with Rs. three lakh cash and 30.9 kg of gold worth Rs. 9.3 crore, from a private finance company, keeping several persons hostage in Nagpur, police said today. The assailants carrying firearms held nine persons, including staff of Manappuram Finance Limited and customers, as hostage for about 20 minutes at the firm’s Bheem Chowk branch, near Jaripatka police station in northern area of the city on Wednesday, they said. The five men entered the finance company office posing as customers. The absence of a security guard only made the heist easy for them. A woman employee of the finance company is learnt to have opened the channelled gate for one of the accused, who posed as a depositor to gain entry. The man covered his face once he went inside the firm. When asked to uncover his face, he whisked out a firearm taking the employees and customers hostage. He also snatched their mobile phones, police said. The assailants damaged the CCTV cameras and wiring, but one of the modules skipped their notice which the police is now banking on to establish the identity of the dacoits. The accused did not injure anyone, but firmly told them to quietly remain seated on floor as three of them had guns, they said. They paraded customers towards the locker room and asked the staff to remain inside while they emptied the vault into two sacks which they had brought with them. Police are examining the CCTV footage from nearby shops and other premises to gauge their movement in the locality, and have not ruled out the possibility of involvement of an inter-state gang. Jaripatka Police have registered offences under relevant sections and investigation is underway, police said.
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