July 24, 2010
Tuesday October 27, 2009:
By six in the evening, two Mexican couples walked out of UAE’s Abu Dhabi International Airport and hired a cab to reach hotel. They checked into beachside Intercontinental. The hotel registration stated Felipo and Sara, the first couple. Rolando and Belia were the second couple. Their rooms were located on the third floor.
The same day, by 6.30 pm, Carlos a Costa Rican also arrived into same hotel. The room allotted to him was on fourth floor. The Costa Rican together with his Mexican friends joined for dinner at hotel’s restaurant. They wrapped up at 11.00 in the night. Then the four Mexicans followed Carlos to his room to activate an important conversation.
“My information is reliable.” Carlos explained. “The local jewelers in Dubai quite often transport the gold bars to Kuala Lumpur. They return to Dubai after converting the gold bars into jewelry pieces. Gold merchant Nailesh Patel is expected to travel Malaysia with gold bars by Thursday evening flight.”
“What could be the worth?” Sara was inquisitive.
“I am not the kind to waste your time or to persuade you all for a mission without having my facts right.” Carlos’s voice sounded confident and certain. “It may be worth not less than 1.6 million dollars.”
“It’s worth the risk if we are after the ingots worth 1.6 millions dollars!” Felipo whistled.
“You may please tell us the plan. We are with you.” Rolando lit a cigarette.
“I have complete faith in you friends to convert this operation into success.” Carlos continued after gulping a glass of water. “Our team has a hundred percent success record. As on date we have not failed and will never go wrong at least in this mission.”
“We will not go wrong.” Belia giggled. “You tell us the plot and the strategy”
“I have a flawless strategy.” Carlos began with an undertone.
*** *** *** ***
Wednesday October 28, 2009:
The bunch of criminal’s immediate requirement was a car. Rolando contacted a car rental company and collected a Honda Accord. Carlos called his informer in Dubai through a local sim card. Nailesh Patel had not made any changes in his intended travel plan. The set up was precisely in order.
Carlos updated the situation to his associates during lunch on conference.
“By tomorrow morning let’s move to Dubai.” Carlos advised.
“I would like to know the reason for staying in Abu Dhabi. After all, the theft would cook up in Dubai, which is more than 150 km from this place.” Belia raised her doubt during lunch.
“That’s what even I think. We could have stayed in Dubai.” Felipo was in same opinion.
“You guys are plausibly right.” Carlos laughed quietly and answered. “But I have my reservations. Do you think Dubai police would not react when they encounter the heist of this magnitude? They will have their hands full with high alert watch on hotels, streets and exit points. We will have to flee before their focus is shifted on to Abu Dhabi.”
“Now I understand.” Rolando nodded.
“Do you know why Carlos’ success rate is very high when he schemes a mission?” Sara complimented. “He always thinks ahead, acts farther and leaves the cops far behind!”
*** *** *** ***
Thursday, October 29, 2009:
A Honda accord stayed a kilometer away from Dubai International Airport with hazard lights on. They waited for a Mercedes to pass by, then trailed at an unwary distance and finally entered the parking area. The Mercedes driver parked his car at a corner beside two cars. The Honda accord occupied the next immediate empty place.
Nailesh Patel stepped out and waited at car’s backside storage compartment. His driver walked and pulled a trolley. Rolando got down and dragged an empty trolley. His associates shifted their baggage. Carlos kept a close watch on Nailesh Patel. Nailesh Patel marched beside his driver who pushed the trolley.
Carlos and his friends followed them without any hint of suspicion. They stopped at the elevator. The elevator came down as no untoward incident occurred until then. As they entered empty elevator Rolando applied sudden force while pushing his wheeled cart. It crashed into Nailesh Patel’s trolley. The trolley ducked out from driver’s control. He ran behind, in the process was pushed to the corner while getting hold of the cart.
“Take care of the trolley.” Nailesh Patel screamed.
Carlos and his associates rushed inside and surrounded Nailesh Patel. They had managed to isolate the baggage from the owner’s sight.
“Excuse me.” Belia spoke to Nailesh Patel. “Emirates flights fly from this terminal, Isn’t it?”
“I think you are at the wrong terminal.” Nailesh Patel smiled. “This is terminal one. Emirates flights used to fly from this terminal, not any more. Now they have an exclusive place, which is terminal number three. Do not be tensed. It’s not very far.”
“Oh… No!” Sara expressed her disgruntlement. “We don’t have much time.”
The elevator door opened as it reached the top. Carlos and his squad stayed inside. They gave way to Nailesh Patel and his driver to move out. None uttered a word until they reached back to Honda accord. The luggage was transferred back to the storage compartment. Carlos picked the black bag and unlocked the key by inserting a narrow metal bar. He glanced inside and rest of the members peeped, allured by the enticement.
The gold bars drew their attention!
It was booty worth more than 1.6 million dollars!
“I still can’t believe it.” Felipo patted Carlos’s back. “You effortlessly tricked the driver and swapped the black bags. Bravo, it’s time to celebrate.”
“Not yet!” Carlos disclaimed. “The mission is not yet over. We have plenty of unfinished jobs. We will celebrate once we fly off from this country. “
Carlos took charge of the steering wheel. Rest of his mates sat in as the car sped towards Abu Dhabi. The car came to a halt after crossing Jebel Ali. They opened the dickey, removed the 25 gold bars from black bag and positioned them inside unfilled computer cases. The gold was concealed as the cover was fixed with socket head cap screws. They resumed the journey after hurriedly stepping back into the car.
Carlos stopped the car outside the office of a courier company in Abu Dhabi. The computer cases were taken inside. Carlos booked the consignment to his address in Costa Rica and paid the courier cost. Rolando returned the Honda accord to car Rental Company. The posse arrived at the hotel, checked out and entered Abu Dhabi International Airport.
They changed their original plan of returning to Mexico and boarded into a flight to Hong Kong. The flight took off and began cruising at the required altitude level. The airhostesses launched the beverage service. Carlos and his team decided on Champagne.
“Cheers.” Carlos raised the toast. “It’s time for celebration. “I have my pity for Dubai police. They must be really scratching their head. I doubt their ability to gather any evidence against us. Believe me we are already out of their reach!”
The gang had every reason to rejoice their victorious mission. They had escaped from the country within a matter of few hours after being successful in the robbery. The mission was accomplished in every sense and they were richer by a minimum of 1.6 million dollars. Unfortunately their delight was short lived. On arrival at Hong Kong, the airport authorities did not allow them freely to walkout. As the plane landed in Hong Kong, the law enforcement officers boarded the plane and took the four Mexicans and the Costa Rican into custody.
Within hours, the five were herded back on to a plane and were flown back to Abu Dhabi. The police arrested the crooks on arrival and sent them to Dubai. All along the thieves knew they had pulled off a stunning trickery devoid of any imagination on how stunning could be Dubai police operation!
*** *** *** ***
Friday October 30, 2009:
A team of police officers left Carlos, Felipo, Sara, Rolando and Belia in the interrogation room. The chief of Dubai Police Lieutenant General and his deputy director Major General were in conversation with Nailesh Patel.
“I am totally in dark.” Nailesh Patel emphasized. “How did you manage to uncover the culprits?”
“The gang must have had been sipping champagne on board their flight.” Police Lieutenant addressed his deputy. “They must have had even ridiculed us.”
“The crooks generally remain in dark with no knowledge on what happens behind their back.” Major General asserted. “There by they provide the best option to chase them down. They always believe of thinking ahead, acting farther and leaving the cops far behind. In real sense they fancy their inept imagination.”
“You checked in and during the immigration check, the officers asked you to open the bag.” Police Lieutenant turned at Nailesh Patel. “The officers helped you to break the lock as your key didn’t match the mechanism. You were dumbfounded on sight of the bricks. Once you reported and filed a complaint we knew our hands were full.”
Police Lieutenant inhaled a deep breath.
“This is one of the most daring, brazen robberies committed in the country.” Major General carried on. “Though you failed to describe his thieves, we studied the airport security surveillance cameras. We also checked where you had parked your car and found a rental car parked nearby. It was a Gold Honda Accord and the number plate was partly visible. We went after the car rental company and found there were 358 similar cars in the UAE. Forty-two patrols were sent to investigate car rental locations and track down the one that rented the car. It was found, but the identity of the renter turned out to be fictitious, as was the driver’s license. While enquiring of the rental car company’s employee, he confirmed the renter was Mexican.”
“Then we checked the arrival information in recent days for Mexican entrants and found the renter.” Police Lieutenant cleared his throat. “It was also noted he had arrived with three other Mexicans and the Costa Rican. Surveillance cameras noting the arrival into the country of the gang, matched with those of the robbery at Dubai Airport gave us vital clues. There after we checked the immigration department for airport departures of the group, and then the airlines to establish the five had boarded a flight to Hong Kong. We contacted police in Hong Kong and Interpol to bring them back.”
“Only 90 minutes.” Major General jubilantly articulated. “Just ninety minutes after the plane for Hong Kong had taken off the police had identified the culprits, established their whereabouts, and in the meantime tracked down the courier company that had been engaged to transport the cargo overseas.”
“Where is my gold?” Nailesh Patel anxiously asked.
“We found a shipping invoice while searching the rental car. This must have had fallen from a gang member.” Police Lieutenant replied. “The gang knew that the gold bars could not be taken through security at the country’s airports without being discovered. Hence, they engaged a courier company to do the honors. Anyway the gold has been intercepted in Europe and the consignment is on its way back.”
“But….” Police General paused for a while. “The swindlers had clear information on your complete trip and schedule. They knew the gold transportation, flight schedule, arrival time to the airport etc. This signals an air of suspicion, perhaps you must have orchestrated the robbery to claim the insurance.”
“How can you talk like that?” Nailesh Patel clasped his hands.
“We know exactly what are we talking about.” Police Lieutenant snapped back. “After all your gold was under travel insurance.”
“This isn’t my first visit.” Nailesh Patel argued. “I have travelled in the past and insurance had been always a formality.”
“Why do you sound furious?” Police General spoke with composure. “We have seized a local sim card from this gang. The contacted local numbers would be divulged very soon.”
Meanwhile the landline buzzed.
“Hello… Yes….” Police Lieutenant picked up the receiver. “I see…..Okay…. Thank you.”
“On October 28 and 29, this particular sim card holder was in regular touch with a Dubai based mobile caller.” He scribbled a number on the note pad. “The Dubai based cell phone number is listed on Mr.Abhiram.”
“Is it Abhiram?” Nailesh Patel was almost knocked out. “He is my driver!”
Note: Though this story based on reported crime news, narration including climax is imaginarily dramatized by the writer.