BY Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Oct 23: The driver of an ATM refilling van fled with Rs 1.8 crore from the city on Wednesday, but was arrested within 12 hours along with four of his accomplices - all his relatives - from Goalpara district.
Guwahati police commissioner Mukesh Agarwala told a press conference on Thursday at Dispur police station that Rs 1.15 crore was recovered from the accused and efforts are on to recover the remaining amount.
The driver, Rumud Barman, and his accomplices - Akon Barman alias Boga, Kak Barman, Paban Barman and Madan Barman - were arrested in an operation carried out by city police with the help of their Goalpara counterparts from Salpara village in Krishi police station area of Goalpara district at around 11.30 pm on Wednesday.
All the arrested are in their late twenties and early thirties. They hail from Salpara and are relatives.
A case has been registered against the five at Dispur police station, where they are currently being interrogated.
Agarwala said another accused, yan Barman, is absconding and it is suspected that the remaining Rs 65 lakh is with him.
Rumud, who drove the van of Brink's Arya India Private Limited, bearing registration number AS012 2568, carrying cash to replenish ATMs of different banks, had fled with the vehicle when three other staff, including a security guard, had stepped into an HDFC Bank ATM at Ganeshguri to refill cash on Wednesday afternoon at around 12.45 pm. When the three employees came out and discovered that the van was missing, they immediately informed the police.
Police acted immediately and alerted the entry and exit points of the city.
The commissioner said it took the police some time to track down the van since it was not fitted with GPS. The police used cell phone tracking and other methods to track down the accused.
Rumud has been working with the company for the past seven years.
Brink's Arya is a provider of transportation, cash logistics and other security-related services to banks and fincial institutions.
Initially, the van was carrying Rs 2 crore in cash belonging to HDFC, Axis Bank and United Bank of India (UBI). Before Rumud fled with the van, they had refilled Rs 10 lakh each in two other ATMs.
The van was later found abandoned by the police near the auditorium of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital in Bhangagarh on Wednesday night. But there was no cash in the van.
The police commissioner said that it was a big success for city police since they have maged to crack the case within 12 hours of the crime.