South Delhi heist: 2 more arrested

NEW DELHI, Oct 1:
Two more persons, allegedly involved in the planning of the sensational Rs 5.25 crore heist in south Delhi, were arrested here with Rs 2.60 lakh of the stolen cash, police said today.
With this, the total number of those who were arrested in connection with Friday’s daring robbery in upscale Defence Colony has risen to five and the amount recovered to over Rs 2.39 crore. Three persons including a robber were arrested earlier.
Umesh 31, a former employee of the cash replenishment agency, who provided inputs about the cash van’s movement, and Mukesh Saini (39), who was allegedly involved in the planning, were apprehended, Vivek Gogia, Joint Commissioner of Police (South-West), said.
Earlier reports had said that four more persons have been arrested and almost the entire money recovered.
However, police is yet to arrest the four alleged robbers involved in the crime.
Mukesh was allegedly involved in two cheating cases and got in touch with some of the suspected criminals.
“Deepak Sharma, revealed that someone had been informing one of the co-accused over phone sharing specific information on description, movement and location of the van carrying the cash.
The employees of bank, risk management companies and vault managing company were also scrutinized and interrogated to identify leakage of specific information” Gogia said.
Police found that Mukesh had been an associate of one of the main accused and was in touch with Umesh.
Simultaneous raids were conducted at various places and surveillance was mounted on these two suspects, which resulted in the arrest of Mukesh from Mandawli in East District near his relative’s house.
The gang had waylaid the cash van, pinned down a security guard and shot him after he tried to snatch their weapons. They fled the spot in the cash van leaving behind the car in which they were following the vehicle. The guard succumbed to bullet wound.
The robbers had abandoned the car in Hauz Rani, a few kms away, and later empty cash boxes were found in south Delhi’s Khirki village where police deployed personnel in plain clothes for surveillance.
Mukesh told the police that he had been in jail for 2 years and 6 months for a cheating case and came in touch with one of the main accused.
After his release from jail 18 months back, he maintained his links with him. Mukesh was persuaded to give inputs like the movement of the cash van and the number of people in it so that a big heist can be effected. He was offered a suitable amount for such information.
Mukesh was in dire need of money to meet his daily expenses as no job was being offered to him due to his previous involvement, alchoholism and other bad habits, he told the police.
He was also called ‘Jackson’ because of his fetish with Michael Jackson T-shirts and jackets and was desperate for getting quick money, Gogia said.
He came in touch with Umesh, who was a neighbour and an ex-employee of the Vault Management Company.
Umesh was employed at the cash counting machine and used to place stickers on bundles of cash.
“His job included that of stashing counted cash bundles in chests and then transferring to the transporting van for delivery to various ATMs and other branches,” Gogia said.
“As part of plan in order to execute the heist both persons did reconnaissance of the preferred route and timing of the transporting vehicle,” he said.
They attempted to zero in on the van with maximum cash, minimum security, so that the heist can become a success, he said.
Whenever local guards questioned them about their loitering and presence near the vault office without any reason, Umesh would flash his old I-Card and would say he wanted to get a job for his friend Mukesh, who was waiting for the vault’s manager.
They were present on the day the incident too with a bike owned by Mukesh. Once the cash van left the vault office, they informed one of the main accused regarding its movement.
Following Mukesh’s interrogation, Umesh was arrested. (PTI)

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