Three youths stole cash amounting to Rs 19.52 lakh from the van of a private collection agency, in Chowk Bazaar area of Surat on Tuesday.
Radiant Cash Management Services, a private agency based in Udhna area of the city, deals in collecting cash from malls, multiplexes, and toll plazas and depositing it in banks. On Tuesday afternoon, when the agency’s cash van reached Chowk Bazaar to deposit money in a State Bank of India branch, Subhan Khan Pathan, who had been driving the van, took Rs. 37.72 lakh cash and went inside the bank, while armed guard Ramesh Singh waited inside the van with an amount of Rs 19.52 lakh kept in a bag, which was to be deposited at another bank. At the time, a youth went up to Singh seated inside the vehicle and told him that some currency notes had fallen on the road. As soon as Singh alighted the van to pick up the cash, another youth tactfully stole the bag containing the agency’s cash and slipped away, police said.
Singh, who was preoccupied with collecting two Rs 50 notes and a Rs 100 note that were lying on the road, learned about the theft only after re-entering the van. He immediately called up Khan, who informed agency manager Abdul Nasir Ansari. Khan also called Surat police control room and informed them about the incident.
Athwalines Police Inspector H R Kuvavadia said, “We have registered an offence and started an investigation. The cash van’s driver was at SBI to deposit Rs. 37.72 lakh, while the remaining amount was to be deposited in another bank. We suspect that the miscreants might have kept a watch daily on such cash deposits done by the agency and later hatched a plan to be executed on Tuesday. We have found out that three persons were involved in the incident and they escaped in an auto rickshaw. We are also checking CCTV footage to find out the whereabouts of the accused.”