Robbers cut hole in train roof, steal US$750,000
A GANG of robbers cut a hole in the roof of a train travelling through southern India and stole more than US$750,000 in cash, police said yesterday.
The daring heist occurred somewhere along the more than 300-kilometre-long journey, but the missing loot was only discovered hours after the express train arrived here.
The train’s mail carriage was carrying 3.4 billion rupees (US$51 million) belonging to India’s central bank and was being escorted by armed police seated in the next compartment.
Police suspect about six to eight robbers made a 1.2-metre-square hole in the carriage roof using a cutting torch before escaping undetected with some of the cash.
“We are enquiring with the train guard and the police personnel if they heard any unusual noises on the roof,” said police superintendent P. Vijayakumar.
Another police officer was quoted in the Hindu newspaper as saying the gang might have hidden themselves in the carriage before it was locked for the journey on August 8, before escaping by jumping off the roof.
Reserve Bank of India officials discovered the theft on Aug 9, when they came to collect the cash from the carriage for disposal. The cash, although still usable, was soiled and was transported from the city of Salem to Chennai for destruction. –