Wow! Hyderabad police crack Nizam museum robbery in a week
It took just a week for the sleuths to crack the sensational robbery that occurred on September 3 at the Nizam's Museum in Hyderabad. All the stolen items- a 2kg gold tiffin box, a ruby-studded cup, saucer, and a spoon- were recovered, said a senior official. Two persons were arrested after a massive manhunt comprising fifteen special teams was launched right after the theft.
One of the thieves used the tiffin box every day
Cops said the duo had entered the museum through a ventilator after scaling the wall, as was guessed earlier. After the steal, they fled to Mumbai, checked into a luxury hotel, where one of the thieves ate in the tiffin box every day. After a two-day vain search for a prospective buyer, they returned to Hyderabad and landed straight in police net.
Both masons, the younger one masterminded the crime
The accused, Muhammad Ghouse Pasha (25) and Muhammad Mubeen, were both masons. Mubeen, though the younger of the two, was the mastermind who hatched the plan after he visited the museum a couple of months ago. They then conducted a survey of the place numerous times before arriving at the final decision, said cops, adding the high-profile case was a tough one to crack.
Clue to mislead cops: Pillion rider talking on mobile
This was because there was no CCTV footage, as the cameras were tilted. Of the 32 security cameras, one did capture them exiting the museum and fleeing on a bike, but it was angled and their faces weren't visible. The pillion rider was then seen talking on a mobile phone. Thinking it as a clue, data of some 300 mobile towers were studied.
Breakthrough: Their bike radiator hit a stone in Charminar area
"All that went waste as it was to mislead us, because their phones had no SIM," said Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar. The department then scanned through profiles of 30-40 breaking-and-entering artistes, who'd follow the same modus operandi, but the main breakthrough came when they saw a footage in the Charminar area. It showed two bike-borne men stopping as their radiator hit a stone.
Two marks on museum walls hinted involvement of professional masons
An abandoned bike was found in Zaheerabad district, and the two bikes were compared. They seemed to be the same. Meanwhile, cops found two marks on the museum wall, which were made to guide them to the ventilator they'd take, as there were 28 other similar ones. The marks could only be made by a professional mason, cops said.
They also planned to steal golden-covered Quran, but couldn't
While the hunt was going on, the culprits fled. Upon their return, they were caught. They told cops they had also planned to steal a golden-covered Quran from the next enclosure, but just then the early morning fajar ka azaan (Muslim prayers) started. Probably they got emotional and couldn't touch the book, said Kumar, adding Ghouse is also wanted in 26 other robberies.
Grandson of 7th Nizam questioned museum security arrangements
The theft was given "utmost priority" on request of Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, grandson of the 7th Nizam and President of the Nizam Family Welfare Association, who had written to Kumar last week. He also questioned the security arrangements at the museum in the letter.