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Cash theft causes huge stir in India Sophisticated job: official

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 22: A theft committed last week in Hawalli has caused a stir in high levels of government in India. The victim is the Director, Board of NORKA Welfare, and General Convener of Overseas Indian Cultural Congress, Kuwait, Varghese Puthukulangara. Varghese had withdrawn KD 10,000 from a bank in Salmiya for a work-related purpose and had driven to Hawalli to meet an Indian politician who was in Kuwait. The money was left in the car. When he returned, he found that his car had been broken into and the box containing the money gone.

The news, the NORKA director said, has caught fire in India with Defense Minister AK Antony holding talks with the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Salman Kurshid, on the issue, “and the External Affairs Ministry has issued necessary instructions to the Indian Embassy in Kuwait.” Further, Indian central ministers such as Vayalar Ravi, E Ahmad, PJ Kurian and KC Venugopal, and Kerala Chief Minister, Oomen Chandi, KPCC President, Ramesh Chenithala, in addition to MPs PT Thomas, Anto Antony and MK Raghavan have also contacted the Indian Embassy in connection with the crime.

Speaking to the Arab Times, Varghese said the criminals are now acting in a highly organized manner, casing potential victims coming out of banks and ATMs. They follow the victim until an opportune moment to strike. This theft occurred in a busy area in Hawalli near the famous Titanic Building, and the thieves targeted only his car, even though there were other costly cars parked in that street. “This indicates that the thieves had knowledge of the money in the car.” The police are pursuing the case. They have lifted fingerprints from the car to track down the criminals. It was only recently that Varghese took over as the director of Non- Resident Keralites Affairs Department (NORKA), which is a government of Kerala initiative set up in 1996 to attend to the needs of Malayali expatriates across the world.

By: Valiya S.Sajjad Arab Times Staff

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