Published on 12:00 AM, February 08, 2021

Gold looted from shop at Dhaka mall

Photo: Muntakim Saad

Burglars made away with around 500 tolas of gold ornaments of a jewellery shop and took around Tk 5 lakh from the shop and three others at Rapa Plaza in the capital's Dhanmondi early yesterday.

The burglary took place between 2:00am and 3:30am in Rajlaxmi Jewellers on the first floor of the building. The thieves covered the mall's CCTV cameras with tissue paper and tape to avoid identification.

Amit Saha, brother of the shop owner, said they locked the shop around 8:30pm on Saturday before going home. Around 9:00am yesterday, they received a call from the mall management that their shop was burgled.

"We rushed there and found the locks and shutters of the shop were open," Amit told The Daily Star.

They suspect that thieves entered the building by cutting the grill of the women's restroom. The thieves did not break any locks of the shop, "but picked at least 15 locks", he said.

He added that it was not possible to conduct any such burglary without the involvement of the building's security personnel.

The CCTV footage inside the jewellery shop shows that two people -- one of them covering face with a towel and another who did not have anything covering his face -- entered the shop and ransacked everything on the display racks.

"Gold ornaments of customers and ours were kept on the racks. We suspect that 500 tolas of gold ornaments were taken," said Rajlaxmi Jewellers owner Mahadev Karmakar, adding that Tk 2 lakh was also stolen.

He said there are six vaults in the shop and the burglars tried to break into those, but failed.

According to a statement by the Bangladesh Jewellers Samity (BJS) last month, the retail price of per tola (11.664 grams) gold is Tk 72,666. 

As per the rate, the value of the 500 tolas of gold ornaments would be around Tk 3.63 crore, said the shop owner.

Police collected CCTV footage and interrogated the security guards.

Police Bureau of Investigation, Detective Branch of police, and the Criminal Investigation Department visited the scene.

Apart from the jewellery shop, cash was also taken from nearby three stores.

The money of Thursday, Friday and Saturday sales was in the cash box in those shops. That money has been taken, said the authorities concerned of the shops.

Shoaib Ahmed, branch manager of Gentle Park, one of the shops, said Tk 1.56 lakh was taken from their store and that they were checking inventory.

Staffers of Vogue Sultana said they lost around Tk 1.22 lakh.

"We found the locks of our shops broken. The thieves took Tk 25,000 from our shop," said Shakil Ahmed, manager of Monsoon Rain.

Motahar Hossain, president of shop owners' association at Rapa Plaza, said they invested crores of taka in their businesses, and it was frustrating that there was no security in the shopping mall.

Shop owners said the mall was inaugurated in 2000. Theft and robbery never happened in the market before.

Visiting the spot, HM Azimul Haque, deputy commissioner of DB (Ramna division), told reporters that it appeared to be an act of professional thieves.

"The criminals entered the building through the washroom by cutting the grill and false ceiling. The burglary was caught in CCTV camera. We hope that the thieves would be held soon," he added.

Filing of a case was underway.