Lalithaa Jewellery heist: Film actress under scanner

Chennai: A special team of police is conducting investigations into claims that the accused men in the Lalithaa Jewellery heist gave a part of robbed valuables to a film actress.

According to sources, the statement was given by one of the accused Suresh who surrendered before a court on 10 October.

He told the police that some of the stolen jewels in their earlier heists were gifted to a film actress, to maker her act in a movie to be bankrolled by Murugan, the kingpin of the gang.

In 2013, Murugan began making a movie titled ”Athma”. The team shot for 45 days and had to abandon the project due to shortage of funds.

Later, they completed another project in Telugu titled ”Manasa”, for which the lead actress was promised Rs 50 lakh and was given an advance of Rs 6 lakh. Later, she filed a case in a Hyderabad court citing non-payment of salary and the movie had to be shelved.

Murugan was about to bankroll another film, for which he met a leading actress and gave her jewels, it is said. Murugan introduced himself to the actress as a jeweller.

Suresh said they plotted the robbery of Punjab National Bank (PNB) at Bikshandarkoil in Trichy, in order to finance films.

Police recovered Rs 4.30 crore worth jewellery after interrogating Murugan. He had buried the jewels in a forest area in near Thiruverumbur, Trichy. Murugan had taken 12 kilograms of gold as his share.

It may be noted that nearly Rs 13 crore worth of jewellery weighing 30 kilogram, consisting of gold and diamonds were stolen from Lalithaa Jewellery showroom. The men drilled a hole into the wall of the shop and decamped with the valuables on 2 October.

As of now police have arrested six persons in connection with the robbery.

NT Bureau