The great Opera House Heist in Mumbai India(English Subtitle)


On march 17 1987 alias Mohan singh 5 ft 6 inches tall, black-haired, dark-complexioned, bespectacled and a very smart man had inserted a classified advertisement. He posted an ad in the newspaper The times of India The ad says looking for “Dynamic Graduates for Intelligence Officers Post and Security Officers Post” Applicants were told to report to the hotel The Taj Intercontinental between 10 am and 5 pm the next day. The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, is a heritage, five-star, luxury hotel built in the Saracenic Revival style in the Colaba region of Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, situated next to the Gateway of India Historically it was known as the “Taj Mahal Hotel or the “Taj Palace Hotel or simply “the Taj”. Candidates who answered were asked to report to room 415 at The Taj, where Mohan singh was believed to have been staying. He hired an office at Mittal Towers in Nariman Point when The Taj refused to grant permission to interview candidates. Nariman Point is a business district in Downtown Mumbai. Formerly the prominent business district on India’s west coast, Nariman Point yielded that status to Mumbai’s Bandra-Kurla Complex in 2010. The candidates went through a full-length interview held by Mohan Singh, Mohan Singh asked them a variety of questions as to why they had applied for the job , and how they would handle given situations in apprehending smugglers. The 28 candidates who were selected were then informed that they would have to prove their worth in ‘practicals’ by participating in a mock raid. Accordingly, the excited aspirants landed up the next day as asked. Mohan Singh, who was staying at the Taj, had hired a bus and everyone trooped in eager to prove their mettle. Claiming to be from the Research and Analysis Wing, he then gave them CBI identity cards complete with their photographs – which they had submitted earlier – carefully affixed. All candidates were handed identity cards with fake government Ashoka insignia. The Ashoka insignia is The emblem of India is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath. The Emblem constitutes of three lions,. The Ashoka Chakra (wheel) appears in relief in the center of the abacus, with a bull on the right and a galloping horse on the left, and outlines of Dharma Chakras on the extreme right and left. Forming an integral part of the emblem is the motto inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script: “Truth Alone Triumphs” The bus that was hired headed towards Chowpatty. Chowpatty is a public beach along the Queen’s Necklace adjoining Marine Drive in the Girgaon area of Mumbai, India. It is served by the Charni Road railway station. The beach is noted for its Ganesh Visarjan celebrations when thousands of people from all over Mumbai and Pune come to immerse the idols of Lord Ganesh in the arabian sea With a brief break for a cold drink in the middle they then proceeded to their target. Things then went as per plan,Mohan Singh’s plan. They arrived at the Opera House branch of Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri & Sons jewellers around 2:15 pm Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri & Sons jewellers is a noted Indian jeweller and jewellery retail chain based in India. Established in 1864 (153 years ago) by Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri in Zaveri Bazaar, Zaveri Bazaar is the jewellery district of Mumbai, The 28 candidates thinking that this is just a mock raid acted as if it is a true raid. Mohan Singh, dressed immaculately in a three-piece suit speaks with a distinct south Indian accent, strode straight to owner Pratapbhai Zaveri, introduced himself as Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) officer Mon Singh, and produced a search warrant. Mohan Singh ordered the CCTV cameras to be switched off and TO surrender a licensed revolver of the store owner for the purpose of store security. No in-coming or out-going calls were allowed. Singh with his team then took samples of ornaments for assessment of the quality of the gold. The ‘samples’ of jewelry were then sealed in polybags. Cash was also collected. After taking into custody ornaments worth as much as 30 lakhs, Singh ordered to put the briefcases in the bus. the owner, and his staff too scared of the CBI to raise any protest or ask for proof. They said later that Singh and his team acted “in perfect raid-like attitude” He then instructed his team to stay put at the store while he would head to ‘supervise’ another raid. Singh got off the bus at Taj Hotel. He then caught a taxi and was spotted in an auto-rickshaw in the suburbs carrying a briefcase, an attache case and a gunny bag. But it was here that the trail ended. After about an hour of endless wait, the owner, Pratap Zevari informed the police and the applicants realized that they were a part of a robbery. Arvind Inamdar received an urgent phone call at his office at the Police Headquarters in Mumbai. Inamdar would retire in 2000 as director-general of police for Maharashtra but he was in the crime division then and this call was about something odd happening in Opera House , where the city’s most exclusive jewellery stores were located. “They came in, pulled down the shutters, ordered customers and staff to wait and took the registers,” recalls Inamdar. Inamdar says All that was standard for the CBI , the feared criminal investigation agency, but what happened next was not. “We were told they had taken a lot of jewellery and decamped,” What the police found was even stranger. The ‘CBI team’ that staged the raid was still there, except for their leader, who they knew as ‘Mohan Singh Apart from his evident knowledge of CBI technique, this has added credence to the view that Singh is either an old CBI hand or has an inside channel of information. “He knew exactly how to go about it,” says owner Pratap Zaveri, who has been through several raids before. “There was nothing to make us suspicious this time. All the documents were there and he said all the normal stuff about search and seizure and asked for our cooperation. It is the custom in all raids that you hand over the firearms in your possession, so the owner handed over his revolver to him which he put into his briefcase.” Zaveri says that they did protest when the man was leaving the shop since he had not given them a receipt, as is normal procedure . But the man completely ignored them. The police put out a nationwide alert, sent a team to Kerala, since Singh had checked into the Taj saying he was from Trivandrum. A man named George Augustine Fernandes was arrested there, but he turned out to be a petty thief. Inamdar says police informers were pumped for possible gang connections, but these did not seem to exist. They followed up the obvious thought that he was a CBI officer gone rogue, but Inamdar says they did extensive checks of CBI records and discounted that possibility. “They even sent a team to Dubai, because we heard he might be there, but got nothing,” he says. Singh appeared to have acted alone and left no traces. “You could say it was the perfect crime,” says Inamdar. In the aftermath of the TBZ heist, the police told themselves that the con artist would surely try and pull off such a neat trick again — and then they would be ready to catch him. But he never did. The robbery at Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri still remains one of the most sensational unsolved cases in the history of the Mumbai police Robbers often used creative and innovative methods to defeat security systems, and in this case a simple ad and the cooperation of innocent applicants were used. don’t forget to watch our other video like the one called a true story of a Japanese prison break I hope that you enjoyed watching this video Please don’t forget to click like and subscribe

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