Train robbers claim they burnt ₹2 crore in cash
The note ban in Nov. 2016 rendered most of the ₹5.78 crore they looted useless
The robbers who looted ₹5.78 crore in cash from the Salem-Chennai Egmore Express in 2016, disclosed that they had to burn notes worth about ₹2 crore after the demonetisation drive as they could neither spend the money nor deposit it in the banks.
Of the ₹342 crore that was being transported on the train by Indian Overseas Bank, Salem, to Reserve Bank of India in Chennai on August 8, 2016, the gang looted ₹5.78 crore. On November 8, 2016, the Centre announced demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes and introduced new ₹500 and ₹2,000 notes.
After a two-year search, the CB-CID team nabbed seven members of a gang led by Mohar Singh of Guna district, Madhya Pradesh.
On obtaining the necessary orders from a Metropolitan Magistrate Court, five of the suspects have been remanded in custody for interrogation since October 30. During this time, they disclosed the way they went about the robbery, sources said.
According to sources, the five suspects were taken to the Vriddhachalam railway station on Saturday, to reconstruct the crime scene.
The suspects enacted sequence of events — travelling on the roof-top of the moving train between Chinna Salem and Vriddhachalam railway stations, drilling a hole, entering the parcel van, breaking open wooden boxes, wrapping cash bundles in their garments and finally, hauling them out.
After the operation, the gang told the police, they hired a van from Madhya Pradesh and transported the booty to their native village. They shared a portion of the cash among themselves.
“Our investigation revealed that they had bought immovable properties for ₹1.78 crore, in their native villages in Madhya Pradesh. We are ascertaining the facts and will gather necessary evidence. They also burnt ₹2 crore of the cash as they were unable to bank or use the money,” an official said.
Taken to Salem
The CB-CID special team took two of the accused to Salem and made enquiries at the Salem railway junction, Ayodhiyapattinam and Attur railway stations on their movement prior to the crime and on the day of the incident.
They also inquired about their activities in Salem. They were then taken to the goods yard at the Salem junction complex where the money was loaded into the parcel van.
“We suspect the involvement of at least 16 other gang members,” an official said.
The team has been trying to identify the local contacts who informed the accused about the movement of the parcel van, he added.
Piecing it together: The five suspects were taken to the Vriddhachalam railway station on Saturday to reconstruct the crime scene.