A policeman inspects the tunnel. (Express photo)
The Jaipur Police have filed an FIR in a crime that nearly has all the elements of a Hollywood heist film: a 20-foot-long tunnel leading to the house of a doctor who runs a hair transplant clinic, a box of silver bricks, and suspects allegedly spending Rs 87 lakh on preparations to carry out a theft which the police say was planned months in advance.
According to the police, Dr Suneet Soni, who lives in Jaipur’s Vaishali Nagar, had filed a complaint on February 24, claiming that a large quantity of silver he had buried in his basement was stolen.
“I had kept silver in a box at my basement and due to security concerns, I had buried the box under the basement’s floor. Owing to a requirement, when I saw the box after digging the basement, I saw the silver was missing and in order to reach the box, a tunnel was made… the box was cut… after which the silver has been stolen,” he claimed.
According to the FIR, the 44-year-old doctor has claimed that the silver belonged to him and his relatives and that he will confirm the quantity of the silver after asking everybody.
“There is an empty plot behind Soni’s house and the tunnel passes through the plot. We are assuming that the silver was in large quantity. He said that around three months ago, he had buried the silver and then covered it with tiles.
Iron sheets were also used to cover the plot so that nobody could know about the tunnel being dug,” said Vaishali Nagar ACP Rai Singh Beniwal, adding that preliminary investigation suggests that the tunnel is 20-foot-long and 10-foot-deep.
Police say that the thieves also allegedly purchased the plot behind the house for Rs 87 lakh, following which the tunnel was dug. “The plot behind the house was purchased on January 4 with a registry amount of Rs 87 lakh. It appears that the planning was done in advance. In one of the under-construction rooms in the plot, the miscreants also covered the window with bricks so that no sound could go outside. Soni hasn’t told us yet about the exact quantity of silver. There were other boxes too buried beneath the basement but he is saying they were empty.
Preliminary investigation suggests that the theft was done sometime in this month,” said Vaishali Nagar SHO Anil Kumar Jaimani.
Jaipur Additional CP Ajay Pal Lamba told The Sunday Express, “Preliminary investigation suggests there are around five people involved in the theft including a close friend of Soni. We detained a person… it appears the value of the stolen silver is over a crore,” said Lamba.