Delhi: Driver of ATM cash van flees with Rs 22.5 crore
The driver of a cash-in-transit van carrying Rs 22.5 crore meant to be deposited in Axis Bank ATMs in southeast Delhi allegedly drove off with the money on Thursday when the gunman deployed with him took a loo break.
One of the biggest cash thefts reported in Delhi, the crime took place when the guard of the SIS security agency van asked the driver to stop near Govindpuri. The driver told the guard stopping the vehicle would cause a traffic jam, adding he would take a U-turn and return to the spot, according to the police.
“Gunman Patel claims that when he came back on the road, the van was not there. He waited for 10-15 minutes, assuming that the cash van must have been caught in traffic but that was not to be. When he realised that the driver had fled, he called the bank. It was then that we were informed,” a police official said on condition of anonymity.
The police later found the GPS-fitted van abandoned near the Okhla Industrial Area, but a bag containing the cash was missing. The cash van was hired to transport the cash from Vikaspuri to Okhla.
The gunman, Vinay Patel, told the police they left the Axis Bank’s Vikaspuri office at 3.30 pm and driver Pradip Shukla drove away with the cash at around 5pm.
Deputy commissioner of police (southeast), MS Randhawa, said several teams had been formed to trace the driver. A case of theft has been registered and the police are probing the driver’s background.
Shukla hails from Uttar Pradesh and had joined the SIS security agency company recently. The police suspect he was helped by others in the crime and are scanning CCTV footage to check if he used another vehicle to escape from Okhla. “We have traced the van and will arrest the driver soon,” DCP Randhawa said.