Near-perfect crime foiled by an arrow

By Aihik Sur| Express News Service | Published: 12th September 2018 06:13 AM

HYDERABAD: They say, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. It was in the July of 2018 that 24-year-old Mohammed Mubeen might have first heard the devil’s knock at this workshop. He was at the Princess Durru Shehvar’s Children’s and General Hospital for a checkup. The serpentine line seemed to be spread till eternity and after waiting for long time for his, Mubeen decided to take a walk outside. At a stone’s throw from the hospital was the Nizam museum. As he walked in, the idea was to while away time, but it soon became the inception point of a grand theft plan.

Walking out of the museum, Mubeen was awestruck by the valuables, particularly the diamond-studded gold tiffin box, a gold cup and saucer and spoons besides other items. The liking led to obsession, and obsession to greed, before he finally hatched a plan to burgle the museum with his childhood friend Mohammed Ghouse.

While Mubeen and Ghouse (21), who happens to be his kin, were nabbed on Tuesday by city police for stealing a diamond-studded gold tiffin box, a gold cup, saucer and spoons from the museum a week ago, their meticulous planning, numerous diversion tactics, and attention to detail was something that has baffled the cops. “The offenders were so cunning that they were foxing the police at every stage.

When our Clues Team went to the spot and tried to take a finger print, to our surprise, we were not able to get any because they were wearing gloves,” a police official associated with the investigation said. The CCTV cameras inside the museum were also not of much help as they were either years old or were pointing in a different direction, another official said. 

The police officials later realised that the CCTV cameras outside the museum were of not much help either. “The duo had finished their recce at least a month before the crime. That is because they knew that CCTV cameras store videos only up to a month. In normal cases, offenders do recce 10-15 days before perpetrating an offence. That is why we couldn’t spot them in the cameras,” the official said.

‘Khooni’ Ghouse was the mastermind
Another example of their diversionary tactic, as Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said, was that in one of the footage obtained from CCTV cameras in the neighbourhoods, the duo was seen using cell phones. “But, during cell phone tower analysis we found that they were not using sim cards. They were only trying to mislead us. In fact, we later found that they had only used the phones as a torchlight,” the commissioner said. Ghouse and Mubeen reportedly used the tactics to buy time and find a safe passage out of the city.

Ghouse aka ‘Khooni Ghouse’ for his love for eating raw meat, had even tried to get himself arrested by the police. “Ghouse, a regular property offender, tried to create an alibi by trying to get arrested,” Anjani Kumar said. There are at least 11 non-bailable warrants against him, he added.

Little short of being the perfect crime
Despite all the precaution, the fabled idea of a perfect crime failed as the city police followed up on the tiniest of evidences. “When we went to the terrace of the museum, we found, to our surprise, an arrow mark. This arrow mark was a typical of a mason’s work. That gave us a clue that whoever did the crime has idea of masonry work,” the commissioner said. The task forces then found that Ghouse had some experience in this field.

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