MIRI — All that glitters may not be gold, so goes the saying.

A RM3.2 million gold jewellery ‘heist’ at a traffic lights junction here yesterday has left the Miri police sceptical and suspicious.

This follows a police report lodged by three gold product suppliers that they were robbed of the jewellery while in a taxi at a traffic lights junction about 3pm.

Initial investigations have led the police to suspect that the purported robbery involving three masked men armed with machetes could have been ‘orchestrated’.

The three men and the taxi driver who drove them from a hotel at the city centre to the airport are in police custody to facilitate investigations.

“It’s not that we don’t trust their story…we just want to look at all angles. Certain elements in the case have raised our suspicion,”

Miri police deputy chief Superintendent Ismail Idris said here today.

He said that according to the ‘victims’, while stopping at the junction, the three robbers suddenly alighted from a car in front of them before smashing the front windscreen and side windows of the taxi.

Ismail said the report stated that one of the ‘robbers’ ordered the trio to open the taxi boot before grabbing four briefcases containing the jewellery and escaping in their getaway car.

While the wooden handle of a machete was found at the purported scene of the crime, he said the modus operandi of the ‘robbery’ was almost similar to two armed robberies which occurred here about five years ago.

In all three cases, Ismail said, the victims were suppliers of gold products, stayed at the same hotel, travelled in a taxi and did not engage security guards while carrying large amounts of valuables.

“Their stories are all the same, where they believed they had been tailed from where they stayed,” he said, adding that the earlier two cases had yet to be solved.