Durgapur, Feb. 2: People who had mortgaged gold for loans today made a beeline for the Muthoot Finance office in Durgapur, a day after robbers took away gold worth Rs 12 crore in what police said was the biggest such heist in recent memory.
The final evaluation report prepared by the Kerala-based company today revealed that the gang of eight had taken away 36kg of gold ornaments and coins from the branch in the heart of Durgapur and 500 metres from a police outpost.
"Officials said the 48.5gm of gold ornaments that I had mortgaged for Rs 1.18 lakh had been taken away. I am shattered. The officials said that after I repay my loan, they would give me cash compensation according to the prevailing market rate of the gold I lost," said trader Sadanand Tiwari.
Trader Tarak Chakraborty, who had borrowed Rs 8.5 lakh by depositing 600gm of gold ornaments, said: "Around 500gm have gone. The company has promised to compensate me after I repay my loan. I cannot repay the loan right now and if the price of gold decreases in the meantime, I will be a looser."
Senior Muthoot officials arrived in Durgapur this morning from the company's regional headquarters in Calcutta and started a probe.
The officials refused comment but the company said in a media release this afternoon: "We assure all our customers and patrons that all their interest will be completely safeguarded. Our customers will not incur any loss as their ornaments are fully insured."
A trader who has a shop near the Muthoot branch said he did not see anyone coming or leaving on vehicles at the time of the heist. "A police jeep was patrolling the stretch then. How could they not spot eight youths walking down a road with rucksacks? Even if they had, they should have got suspicious," he said.
The police said all police stations in neighbouring districts and in Jharkhand had been alerted. "The robbers may not immediately try to sell the gold fearing arrest," said Sunil Yadav, the additional deputy commissioner of police.