Bangalore, July 28: A man who was driving a vehicle with Rs 39 lakh in cash to be loaded into ATM machines, absconded with the money and his vehicle from Vidyaranyapura in Gangammanagudi police limits late on Friday afternoon.
The cash, which belonged to State Bank of India, was due to be deposited into several ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) at Yelahanka, police said.
The company responsible for loading the ATMs, CMS agency, said one of their employees, Chandrashekhar, regularly ferried cash for the company in his four-wheeler.
Reporting sick on Friday, Chandrashekhar had sent his vehicle with a driver, whose identity is still unknown, as his replacement. According to police, the driver and three agency employees — two cash custodians, Santosh Kumar and Gajendra and a gunman, Motaiah — loaded several ATMs before proceeding towards Yelahanka around 3 pm.
Near Vidyaranyapura, the driver stopped the car. Four men approached the car and spoke to the driver, who told the agency staffers that the quartet were his friends.
Soon, the strangers got into the car and overpowered the agency employees. Driving to Hoskote, the driver ordered the agency employees to get out of the vehicle. Then the five men drove off with the money.
Although one of the staffers informed police of the theft immediately, neither the agency nor senior bank officals registered a complaint till late on Friday night.
Although the name of the replacement driver is unknown, police suspect that the plan was an inside job.
“We suspect inside involvement,” said a senior police officer. “We have constituted a special team to arrest the suspects and recover the money.”
In a similar accident, armed men fled with a car ferrying Rs 1.91 crore in cash , destined for ATMs in RT Nagar on May 14. The cash had come from Corporation Bank.
In that case too, the CMS was in charge of transporting the cash.