Five armed men made off with around 30kg gold ornaments valued at ₹12 crore (approx) and ₹ 3 lakh cash from the branch of a finance company — India Infoline Finance Limited’s (IIFL) — on Gill Road in Ludhiana on Monday morning.

Police said the accused, two of them masked, entered the branch and executed the crime in 25 minutes after taking the staff at gunpoint, while the fifth one waited outside in a Maruti Suzuki Ciaz car in which they all drove off towards Malerkotla Road. The robbers also took along the digital video recorder (DVR). Police suspect the role of some insider.

A case of robbery has been registered against unidentified accused at Division 6 police station.The crime spot is located opposite Punjab Police’s crime investigation agency (CIA) office.

The accused entered the bank around 9.45am and took the five employees at gunpoint, seeking keys of the chest. There were no customers at the time and the branch doesn’t have a security guard. The chest was open as a customer had left the branch only minutes ago.

The robbers have been captured in the closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed in the market. The shopkeepers learnt about the incident only after the employees raised an alarm once the robbers had fled with booty.

Branch manager Harpreet Singh told the police that the robbers had held them captive in a cabin. “They collected the gold in four bags,” he said.

Police commissioner Rakesh Agrawal, deputy commissioner of police Ashwani Kapoor and additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP, City 2) Jaskiranjit Singh Teja visited the crime scene.

‘Didn’t know robbers were inside’

Gurpreet Kaur, the lone woman employee of the branch office, said when she reached the office around 10am, everything seemed normal from outside. “I stepped inside only to find armed robbers holding my colleagues captive at gunpoint,” she said.

“The robbers snatched my mobile phone after pointing a gun on my head and locked me inside the cabin where other colleagues already were. One of them kept pointing a gun at us while others were collecting gold ornaments and cash,” said Gurpreet.

“The robbers had locked the main gate from outside and the branch manager had to call the building owner, who came with a duplicate key to free us,”she added.

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