The Delhi Police has today arrested a 34-year-old man in connection with the theft at a branch of Union Bank of India in Delhi’s Shahdara area on Sunday, officials said today.
The accused had allegedly broken into the bank by drilling a hole in the wall of the adjoining building which is under construction.
Without knowing about the accused, the bank officials had earlier entrusted him with the task of fixing a hole in the wall inside their premises which he had drilled to commit the crime, the police said.
The accused wore a helmet at the time of the robbery to hide his identity, they said.
Another person has also been arrested and he had received some amount of the stolen money, the police said.
The two accused have been identified as Hariram and Kalicharan, they said.
On Monday around 10:15 am, the police received information regarding a theft at the bank in east Delhi.
The police inspected the spot and found that a hole was made in a wall of the bank’s server room from the adjacent under-construction building.
Another hole was made in the wall of a strong room in the basement and cash worth Rs 55,03,330 was stolen from the vault, a senior police officer said.
During the investigation, various teams were formed to question frequent visitors, guards, contractual staff about any details of those who have entered the locker room over the last six months, the police said.
After checking over 50 CCTV footage, one camera installed near an ATM located next to another under-construction building was found facing upward. It was noticed that the CCTV was tampered with. The man’s palm and some portions of his face were captured in the camera for a few microseconds, the officer said.
While working on the lead, it was established that the camera was tampered with from the first floor of the building, the police said.
Three prime suspects were caught by the police who were present in the building when the CCTV was pointed towards the entry of the under-construction building, they said.
Detailed analysis of CCTV footage revealed that the person was Hariram and that he was known to the caretakers of the building, the officer said.
“Later, Hariram was arrested. During interrogation, he tried to mislead the police by saying that a person gave him Rs 1,000 to divert the direction of the camera, but later confessed to his crime,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Shahdara) R Sathiyasundaram said.
Hariram said he was called into the bank for renovation work at the strong room six months ago. During renovation, he conducted a detailed recce of the place and gathered all the information about the cash and possible entry and exit routes, the DCP said.
He further revealed that he had planned the heist over the last three months, but could not take it up due to the lockdown. He got access to the under-construction building by removing the previous lock and replaced it with another similar one, Mr Sathiyasundaram said.
As soon as he got an opportunity, he entered the under-construction building, made small holes there and another one in the strong room. He further said that he wanted to use the stolen money for gambling, the police said.
Based on his inputs, cash the police recovered worth Rs 54,48,730 from a house in the area where he was working as a guard and Rs 49,200 was seized from co-accused Kalicharan, who Hariram had lost to in gambling. The remaining money was spent by the two, the police said.
Hariram is a trained construction worker and has worked at nearby under-construction buildings over the last few years. He is from Madhya Pradesh and lives in the national capital with his wife and two children. Kalicharan has a small business and is involved in illegal gambling activities, the police added.