BENGALURU: In a robbery reported in broad daylight, a driver of a cash management service provider company - Logicash - made away with Rs 1.37 crore on Wednesday. The incident occurred on the busy Kempe Gowda Road and the cops are yet to nab the accused.
As per preliminary investigation, the accused has been identified as Dominic, a resident of Lingarajpuram, hailing from Tamil Nadu. The robbery occurred at around 2.10 pm, when the vehicle from Logicash was parked in front of Bank Of India (BOI) office. While two officials - Shivkumar and Saleem went inside BOI Bangalore main branch, a security guard - Chamanlal and Dominic stayed in the vehicle.
Few minutes later, Chamanlal informed Dominic that he was going to attend a nature's call, kept his gun in the vehicle and left. Making use of the opportunity, Dominic allegedly drove away. According to police, Rs 1.37 crore was inside the vehicle during the incident.
Shivkumar and Saleem, who had entered the branch to enquire whether it would make any deposits, were shocked to find that the cash-laden vehicle was gone, when they returned. They initially believed that both Chamanlal and Dominic had fled with the money. However, they found Chamanlal a few minutes later, who explained the situation.
Shivkumar then rushed to Upparpet Police Station and filed a complaint.
Speaking to Express, M N Anucheth, Deputy Commissioner of Police (West) said that Dominic was hired on a contract basis. Investigations showed that the vehicle had collected deposits worth Rs 2 crore from State Bank of India and Rs 5 lakh from Kotak Mahindra Bank. In between, Rs 69 lakh was transferred to another vehicle of Logicash company, and was used to reload ATMs.
In the vehicle, apart from Rs one lakh in Rs 100 denomination, the rest of the money was in Rs 2,000 denomination.
Following the incident, the police have detained Chamanlal and Dominic's wife for questioning. She had returned from Dubai four days ago. Police believe that they might be able to track Dominic, if he tries to contact his wife. Chamanlal is being questioned for dereliction of duty, which helped the accused in the heist.
Police sources said that Logicash had outsourced all driving and other jobs to a firm called 'Secure Transit'. Police have questioned the officials of the company, regarding whether a background check of the driver was done.
While it is compulsory for all vehicles transporting cash to banks and ATMs to have GPS trackers, there was no tracker in the particular vehicle. According to police sources, it would have been easy to track the accused if the GPS was installed in the vehicle.
DCP (West), M N Anucheth said that four teams have been formed to nab the accused. Checkpoints have also been set up at exit points of the city. It is evident that the cash management service provider company - Logicash - had made some compromises with respect to its personnel. Our priority is to nab the accused, he said.
The news that the money was stolen in front of Bank of India main branch in Kempe Gowda Road, sent bank officials in a tizzy.
With questions from media pouring in, bank officials issued a clarification stating that no such incident had occurred at the bank. Speaking to the press, S Eswarappa, Zonal Manager, BOI said that the bank did not have an agreement with Logicash to reload its ATMs.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
A vehicle belonging to Logicash leaves to collect cash from banks. The occupants of the van are the driver (name unknown yet), who is on contract with the company, a supervisor, one Logicash official and security guard Chaman Lal. The vehicle collects cash from two banks, a sum of Rs 1.37 crore.
2 pm: The vehicle arrives at Bank of India located on the busy K G Road. The supervisor and the official enter the bank to collect the cash and Chaman Lal stays back in the vehicle along with the driver.
2.05pm: Chaman Lal, keeping his gun inside the vehicle goes to attend nature’s call leaving the driver alone in the vehicle.
2.08pm: The driver casually drives away with the cash inside.
2.10pm: The officials come outside the bank after being told by the manager that there is no cash in the bank to send with them. Once outside, they begin searching for the vehicle in nearby places. (Parking can be difficult here as there is heavy traffic on the road always)
2.12pm: Chaman Lal returns, and they realise that the driver has fled.
2.35pm: The officials rush to Upparpete police station and file a complaint. Senior police officials are immediately alerted.
2.45pm: Police pass messages to exit points of the city to check all vehicles.
5 pm: Four police teams are formed to track down the driver