The Surat police have arrested the store manager of a luxury hotel at Magdalla in Surat on charges of murdering the hotel’s accounts manager, stealing money from him and dumping his body, stuffed in a bag, in the hotel’s storeroom.
Jeewan Raut, 25, and Viren Saini, 37, used to work at Orange Megastructure’s Le Meridien Hotel at S K Nagar Chowkdi as accounts manager and store manager respectively. According to the police, on Monday, Raut left to deposit Rs 23.38 lakh in the hotel’s bank account. When he failed to return after two hours, his colleagues tried contacting him on his mobile. When they found it was switched off, they informed the hotel’s general manager, Prakash Parmar. After the hotel employees failed to locate him, they informed the police control room.
The Dumas police reached the spot with a dog squad and the dog led the police to Raut’s body, which was tied in a polythene bag and dumped in the store room in the basement.
The police then questioned Saini, the store manager, a resident of SUDA Awas at Magdalla village in Surat. While he initially gave contradictory statements, police said he later confessed to killing Raut with the help of his friend, identified as Nitin. The police said they recovered Rs 4 lakh in cash from Saini while the balance is with Nitin who escaped.
Raut, who hailed from Odisha, had been working at the hotel for five years.
After general manager Parmar lodged a complaint with Dumas police station on Monday evening, police registered a case under Sections 302 (murder), 392 (robbery), 394 (voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) and arrested Saini.
“The motive behind the murder is robbery. When Raut left his office to deposit the cash, Saini called him and took him into the storeroom where Nitin was also present. Both of them slit Raut’s throat and later packed his body in a bag. They were waiting to get a chance to dispose it. However, once the staff were alerted, they could not leave the hotel with the dead body. We also found blood on Saini’s shoes. We are searching for Nitin,” Dumas police inspector A P Somaiya said.
Parmar said that they have informed Raut’s family members in Odisha and are making preparations to send the body to his native place.