Delhi ATM robbery: Main culprit, 2 others nabbed, say police

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ATM
New Delhi, Oct 8: Over a week after the sensational Rs 5.25 crore van heist in an upmarket area in New Delhi, Delhi Police on Sunday claimed to have nabbed the main conspirator, who has a criminal past, and two others, taking the total arrests in the case to 10. Vijay Pandit, who was released from jail two years back and is involved in 27 cases, was arrested from Palwal in Haryana on Saturday evening.

Around Rs 90 lakh of the looted money were recovered from his possession, a senior police official said. Pandit's associates Pawan Kumar and Ranjit were arrested from Delhi on Friday and police rushed to Palwal to nab him after the duo revealed his whereabouts. With the recovery of Rs 90 lakh from Pandit and Rs 25 lakh from the duo, the total cash recovery in the case has gone upto Rs 2.69 crore.

Acting on a specific tip-off, police raided a provision store in Usmanpur and arrested Ranjit and one Pawan Kumar, an employee of BSES. Based on their interrogation, police arrested Vijay Pandit from Palwal bus stand. Vijay's cousin's Tek Chand and Krishna Kumar have already been arrested by police for assisting him in hiding the cash.

"Vijay played an instrumental role in Defence Colony cash van robbery starting from conspiracy stage till the final distribution of looted cash amongst all," the police official said. To fulfill his dream of leading a luxurious lifestyle, he planned and executed with his old associates Hari Kishan and Deepak this robbery when the appropriate information reached them, he said.

They took a fortnight to hatch a near perfect plan, collection of logistics, arrangement of vehicle, weapons and houses, the official said. Vijay gave two major portions of the looted money to his two relatives and then disappeared towards Mewat to seek new hideouts and has been on the run since then, the official said.

The gang had waylaid the cash van on Sept 28, 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 later succumbed to the bullet wound.

It was a raid at the main accused Hari Kishan's house in Khirki that helped the police in its trail. The key of the looted cash van was recovered in his house. Hari Kishan and his wife Rashmi were apprehended from Banda in UP on Oct 3.

The first to be arrested was Deepak Sharma, brother of Hari Kishan, on Sept 29, a day after the heist. Police on Sept 29 managed to identify the house which was believed to have been used by the suspects. It belonged to Hari Kishan who had shifted recently and purchased it in his wife's name.

Raids were conducted at this house and from there, police managed to recover the keys of the cash van, which was abandoned by the gang. Some other documents were also seized from the spot which indicated that the suspects had visited and stayed there.

PTI

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