A GANG of at least seven persons stole Rs 1.56 crore from a security van that had stopped to deposit money at an ATM in Dharavi Thursday.
Of the seven accused, two have been captured on CCTV footage, seen carrying a box containing the cash. The police suspect a local gang to be involved in the crime. No arrest has been made yet.
The incident took place in the Mukund Nagar area on the Dharavi stretch of the Sion-Bandra link road around 3 pm Thursday. The van had come to deposit the money at a State Bank of India (SBI) ATM on the ground floor of Priyadarshani building in Mukund Nagar.
The driver parked the van on the opposite side of the road from the ATM and four people, including an armed guard, alighted from it to deposit the cash. They entered the ATM and pulled the shutter down, an officer said.
Meanwhile, only the driver was in the van. The miscreants then reportedly dropped some currency notes below the van and told the driver that he may have dropped the money. As the driver got off the vehicle and bent down to check, the accused surrounded him. With his vision blocked, two other accused opened the back door of the van and removed a box containing Rs 1.56 crore in cash that was to be deposited at other ATMs, the officer said.
“The duo was captured on the CCTV footage of a jewellery shop near the ATM. In the footage, it can be seen that even as two accused are carrying the box containing the stolen money, another accused, who is pretending to talk to someone on his phone, distracts pedestrians who find the two carrying the box suspicious,” a senior police officer said.
Officers said they suspect the accused then got into an autorickshaw parked some distance from the scene of crime. “We suspect a local Dharavi gang behind the crime. The accused may have kept an eye on the timing when the van came to deposit money and hatched the plan,” an officer said.
A senior officer said there were several procedural lapses on part of the staff of the security van, such as keeping the back door of the van open while they went to deposit the money. “We are also investigating if any of the staff is involved in the crime and if the lapses in anyway were deliberate. In similar cases in the past, we have found involvement of insiders. Currently, the staff is being questioned,” an officer said.