The two accused, who escaped to Mumbai after stealing the artefacts from the Nizam’s Museum, were arrested by the Hyderabad police.

Thieves used Nizams gold tiffin box to eat meals Hyd police recover stolen artefactsHyderabad City Police/Twitter
news Crime Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 14:54

“We don’t know whether the Nizam ever used the tiffin box, but the accused said that they ate breakfast, lunch and dinner in it,” Hyderabad Commissioner of Police, Anjani Kumar said, addressing the media after arresting two people accused of robbing the Nizam’s Museum. A gold tiffin box weighing two kilograms, a cup, saucer, and spoon studded with rubies, diamonds and emeralds were all stolen from the Nizam's Museum located in Purani Haveli in the old city of Hyderabad last week.

The police stated that the main accused has been identified Mohammad Ghouse Pasha, a resident of Shaheen Nagar, who has around 20 to 25 offences registered against him. The second accused has been identified as Mobin, who is Ghouse’s childhood friend, who was earlier convicted and jailed in Saudi Arabia. The idea to rob the museum was Mobin’s idea, the police said.

The two had recced the location around 30 to 35 days ago, knowing that CCTV footage is usually deleted after 30 days. The two identified and marked a tree, which was outside a ventilator that could be broken into, around four to five days before the theft.  

The police said this was a high-level theft, stating that Ghouse broke into the museum through the ventilator using a 10-metre rope, on which he had tied 30 knots to avoid making any sound during the escape.

The police added that the CCTV cameras were either very old or not functional and some cameras were pointed in the wrong direction. An important clue for the police was an arrow mark on a tree near the ventilator.

After the valuable items were found missing, the police formed around 20 teams. The police realised that the two accused wanted to mislead the police.

“The CCTV cameras had captured two persons on a bike holding a bag and they were using a cell phone in the video. Immediately, we started tracing cell phone towers. Subsequently, we realized that they pretended to use the cell phone to mislead the police – there was no SIM card inside the phone and the phone was only used as a torchlight. The accused both used gloves and left no fingerprints,” Anjani Kumar said during the press conference.

After a recce, criminals try to escape to a location outside the city usually, however, the accused were moving around in the city for one hour to mislead the police into thinking they were locals. The accused then escaped to Mumbai, where they checked into a hotel. The police, who tracked them down by monitoring 300 towers, arrested them from the Mumbai hotel.

The stolen tiffin box, cup, saucer and spoon belonged to the family of Nizams, the rulers of erstwhile Hyderabad State and were on display along with several other personal belongings of the royal family at the museum located in Purani Haveli, one of the palaces of Nizam.

The museum showcases several personal belongings of Nizams and their family members and the gifts received by Mir Osman Ali Khan, sixth and the last Nizam from 1911 to 1948 when Hyderabad State was annexed by India.

The museum is also home to Nizam's cars including 1930 Rolls Royce, a 150-year-old manually operated lift and wardrobe of sixth Nizam, who was the richest man in the world in the 1930s.

Nizam Trust, run by the Nizam's family, opened this museum in 2000 for the general public and it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city.

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