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09 Dec 2023, Edition - 3070, Saturday

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Train robbers vanish into thin air with booty; leave no clues

Covai Post Network


Chennai: A day after robbers pulled off a daring and innovative heist of RBI treasure chest in a moving train, police are absolutely clueless as to the who, the where and the how the money was looted.

With not many useful clues emerging from the spot in Salem or in Egmore train yard where the Salem Express eventually was parked after its journey, the police have widened their search area to 80 km stretch between Aathur and Vridachalam.

The police have started their investigations from Erode yard, from where the train had come, and Salem station where the train was loaded and ten other spots where the train halted on its journey to Chennai. But the most likely spot, according to investigators was Vridachalam, where the engine was changed as also till here the railway track was not electrified.

Said P. Rajmohan, Divisional Security Commissioner, RPF, Salem Railway Division,”we are investigating Erode yard from where the train rake originated, if the hole could have been cut there. We have also questioned the porters who loaded the train and also checking with the bank staff as to who all could have information regarding the money being transported.”

The unidentified and unknown robbers had cut a square hole in the roof of the coach transporting RBI money in soiled currency notes, worth Rs 342 crore, and made away with a booty of Rs 5.75 crore.

The theft was detected by the RBI officials after the train had reached Egmore station in Chennai, its final destination early in the morning.

The money was loaded in the train by afternoon itself when the Salem Express was in its yard on Monday.“We are looking at the case from the originating point – the banks in Salem, their staff,” Raj Mohan said. Involvement of outside gangs is not ruled out said another senior police officer associated with the investigations.

Nine security personnel, charged with guarding the RBI money in 226 wooden trunks loaded in the two train compartments, were travelling other compartments of the train. They have also been questioned.

In Salem, a team of 10 members comprising railway police, reserve police and TN police began investigating the case. They searched Salem station, yard, Erode and inspected the line for few kms to check for any clues and evidences and they questioned several people in Salem, bank officials as also porters who loaded the money onto the train.

The investigating team picked up finger prints and looked for clues. The investigating team from Chennai is headed by Government Reserve Police SP Vijaykumar and has three DSPs. In Tiruchy, a team headed by an SP has been formed.

In Salem a 10 member team, comprising Railway Police, Reserve Police and Tamil Nadu Police is working on the case.

Railway Police Inspector General M Ramasubramanian said that investigations began after a complaint was filed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). “This kind of a loot has happened for the first time in Tamil Nadu,” he said.

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