Pune: Within 72 hours after the driver of a cash management firm decamped with Rs 74.5 lakh cash meant for depositing in ATMs, the Wakad police nabbed three persons and recovered Rs 70.8 lakh. However, the driver is still on the run.
The incident took place at 1.20 pm on January 31 in Rahatani. Two cashiers, a security guard and a driver had come to Axis Bank’s ATM near Shivar Chowk. As soon as the other employees got down from the van, driver Ranjit Dharmraj Korekar sped away. Later the empty van was found in Bhosari and the empty cash box in Shikrapur the next day. Korekar was driving the van in place of the regular driver.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, DCP (Zone 3) Ganesh Shinde said, “We formed three teams. Our sleuths’ received information about the movement of the suspects in Beed, Ahmednagar and Aurangabad. Accordingly, we laid a trap and nabbed three persons. The driver is absconding.”
The police identified the arrested accused as Trimbak Ganpati Nahirale (37) of Mandavjali in Beed district, Amol Laxman Dhute (27) of Dighi, Pune and Vithal Ramhari Jadhav (34) of Loladgaon in Beed district. A court remanded them in police custody till February 8.
The police said the suspects worked as drivers. Trimbak worked with a taxi service company and Jadhav is the mastermind.
“We seized Rs 17.5 lakh from Nahirale, Rs 3.3 lakh from Dhute and Rs 50 lakh from Jadhav. They have committed other crimes in the past. On the day of the incident, the cash van officials deposited cash in seven ATMs. The driver got an opportunity when they were at Shivar Chowk and accordingly fled with the van. His accomplices were following the cash van since morning in Trimbak’s Ola cab. Later they transferred the cash box to the Ola cab and fled towards Shikrapur,” said Senior Police Inspector Satish Mane, in-charge of the Wakad police station.
The police said the company officials searched for the driver and contacted the police one-and-half hours after the incident. The three accused left Korekar in Aurangabad as he was too drunk and gave him Rs 30,000.
After the theft, the accused persons visited the Sai Baba temple in Shirdi. Later they spent money on wine, new clothes and phones, the police said.
The investigating team included Inspector (Crime) Sunil Pinjan, Assistant Police Inspector Dattatray Londhe, PSI Harish Mane, and policemen Dhanraj Kirnale, Bapusaheb Dhumal, Ashok Dudhwane, Bibshan Kanherkar, Dadasaheb Pawar, Bhaskar Satras, Ganesh Hazare, Kanta Bansude, Raju Jadhav, Sham Baba, Nitin Genje, Bhairoba Yadav, Mohamad Gaus Nadaf, Rajesh Barshinge, Vikrant Gaikwad, Hemant Hange, Ingale and Nutan Kodhe.