August 9, 2016
Chennai: It was a well-planned and executed train robbery.The train the robbers chose was one that pulled a bogey booked by the RBI to transport its money to Chennai from Salem- the Salem Express that left Salem at nine pm last night to reach Chennai Tuesday early morning.
The coach, booked by the RBI, had 226 trunks full of money weighing some 23 tonnes. The RBI estimated the money at Rs 342 crore, collected from banks in Salem for taking to Chennai.
The robbers, cut through the roof of the bogey when the train reached Virudhachalam well after midnight and got into the coach carrying money trunks.
In the morning when Salem Express reached Chennai, the RBI officials detected the theft and lodged a formal complaint with the local police. According to the the RBI complaint, two of the 226 boxes were found tampered with and a sum of Rs 5.75 crore was missing.
DIG Railway police Bhaskaran told media persons that “it is for the first time in Tamil Nadu that robbers struck in a moving train to look money chest of a bank.”
Top police and railway police officials and RBI officials had reached the spot – Egmore railway station – for an on the spot inspection. They discovered a gaping hole (square) on the roof of the train coach that was carrying the trunks.
“Theft could have taken place at Virudhachalam where the train stopped for some time after midnight, around 1.30 am, “ police sources said.
The police has secured the CCTV footage of the stations where the train stopped and is believed to have detected footage where some persons were attacking the ventilator of the coach, where they made the incursion. ‘
The police suspect that somewhere along way, the suspected robbers hopped onto the roof, cut a hole and lowered themselves into the coach and helped themselves to the money. They used steel cutters and welding machines.