The Dharavi police have arrested three persons in connection with the ATM heist where unidentified men had stolen Rs1.56 crore from a cash van parked outside a State Bank of India (SBI) ATM in Dharavi on Thursday.
They are currently hunting 11 other accused who were involved in the robbery.
The arrested accused have been identified as Suresh Kumar Pandurang, Arumugam Subramani Sherve and Kamla Nagraj Devendra. They were nabbed from Satara while they were fleeing to Bangalore. The police have recovered Rs15.42 lakh from them.
The incident took place on Thursday afternoon when the accused approached the driver of the cash van while the cash attendant and the watchman were depositing money in the ATM on Sant Rohidas Marg. A couple of the accused told the driver that there were a few bank notes lying on the road which could possibly be his.
As the driver got out of the vehicle, two men stole the trunk containing cash and fled.
During interrogation, the police came to know that around 14 people were involved in the heist while only nine were present at the spot on Thursday.
An officer from Dharavi police station requesting anonymity said, “One of the arrested accused, Devendra, was the handler of the group. She managed to get together around four groups of petty criminals and stole the money.”
One of the three accused, Pandurang, was a repeat offender and had a case of robbery registered with the Khar police station. The police suspected his involvement in the incident and nabbed him and two others at Satara.
The officer said, “The accused were trying to flee to Bangalore with the money. We caught them mid-way from Satara.”
Confirming the arrest, deputy commissioner of police Pravin Padwal said, “After came to know that they were carrying cash, a team was sent after the bus that they were travelling in. The team stopped the bus, nabbed the accused and brought them to Mumbai.”
The accused have been booked for robbery and remanded to police custody.
The police suspects that the other accused may have fled to Tamil Nadu and a team has been sent to trace and arrest them.
A police team has been dispatched to Tamil Nadu in the hunt of other wanted accused.
The accused has been booked under sections 392 (punishment for robbery) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) the Indian Penal Code and they were produced in court and has been remanded to police custody for days.