Cash van custodian Mohammad Isha (26), who was arrested by police Thursday for allegedly inserting fake notes in an SBI ATM in Sangam Vihar, was detained — and later allowed to go home — after the incident first came to light on February 6.
The incident came to light after five Rs 2,000 notes that were dispensed from the ATM had ‘Children Bank of India’ and ‘Churan Lable’ written on them.
According to his family, after Isha returned home after a four-day detention on February 10, he got back to work, and was again entrusted to refill money in ATMs between February 11 and 22.
On Friday, Isha’s wife Raveena Bano alleged he had been arrested only after the case was highlighted in media earlier this week, and police came under pressure.
“Police came to our house on February 6 and searched for half an hour, and then on February 7 for two hours. They looked into all our containers — rice, dal and flour — but could not find anything. They detained my husband for four days but later released him as they couldn’t find anything against him…It was only after media pressure that he was arrested,” alleged Bano.
Bano said her husband would not have risked his job, where he had worked for the last one-and-a-half years, for four Rs 2,000 notes. “When my husband came back on February 10, he told me it was the company’s mistake,” she alleged.
Sandeep Jangra, manager at Brinks Arya Private Limited, which manages 21 routes of cash vans, said, “Even we are not sure who has done it… After the incident, Isha came to office for more than a week and was even sent for refilling as a custodian.”
Isha’s lawyer Sumit Kumar said his client had told him he was not alone when the incident took place. “He told me that cash was brought from the Brinks Arya’s vault alone by another custodian to INA, which is against norms. Isha joined him later. Even the other custodian could have inserted those notes. There is no CCTV footage, neither is there video from the ATM camera. Isha refilled the cash, so he was held responsible,” said the lawyer.
DCP (southeast) Romil Baaniya confirmed that Isha was called for questioning on February 6. “He was asked to come back again to answer questions arising out of the investigation. He was not allowed to leave the city and the area,” he said. He confirmed that there was no CCTV footage as the camera becomes non-operational once the ATM is dismantled for refilling.
Asked why the other custodian wasn’t put under scanner, the DCP said, “His role is also being investigated, but the man who filled the machine is the one we arrested.”
The DCP added they have also received a complaint from SBI to investigate further. “SBI gave us a complaint on Friday asking us to explore the role of Brinks Arya.”