New Delhi: In what could be the biggest cash heist in the national capital region, the driver of a cash transit van allegedly fled with around Rs 22.5 crore from southeast Delhi's Govindpuri area on Thursday.
The incident was reported in the evening when the armed guard accompanying the van transporting the money asked the driver to stop the vehicle near Govindpuri Metro station so that he could relieve himself by the roadside, said police.
The driver, identified as Pradeep Shukla, told the guard that he would wait for him in a lane nearby and was last seen taking a sharp turn. When the guard returned, the vehicle and the driver were nowhere to be seen, said police.
The cash was intended to refill ATMs of a private bank across southeast Delhi and was under the protection a private security agency. The guard, Vinay Patel, informed the matter to the branch concerned of the private bank and bank authorities immediately called up police.
Personnel from at least two subdivisions of Delhi Police's southeast district were roped in along with a specialised crime team and the cash van was soon recovered from near a petrol pump close to the spot where the accused driver had deserted the guard.
Police traced the van fitted with a GPS tracker system near the Okhla industrial area. The bag inside a metal box containing the cash was missing.
However, the boxes containing the cash were missing, said police.
Senior police officials who rushed to the spot after the incident was reported maintained that this was not a case of robbery but criminal breach of trust.
Scores of pickets and police check points were set up across the city and checking was intensified at the borders to track down the accused, said police.
CCTV grabs have been obtained from nearby premises, as well as from the entire route to check if any vehicle was following the cash van. Police were scanning the footage to check if the driver got into another vehicle after abandoning the van in Okhla.
They suspect the driver alone could not have pulled off such a crime. Or was he waylaid by robbers when the guard left him alone?
Eyewitnesses are being examined and several teams have been put on the case, police added.
Police said that this could be the biggest cash heist in Delhi after the January 2014 gunpoint robbery of Rs 7.69 crore from a businessman at BRT corridor near Moolchand flyover.
(With inputs from PTI)