August 10, 2016
Chennai: Police are now investigating if the railway staff working in Erode were involved in the heist which took place on the Salem-Chennai Egmore Express train. Nearly Rs 5.75 crores, belonging to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was stolen.
Robbers struck at the parcel carriages, guarded by Armed Reserve (Salem), which were carrying Rs. 325 crores in 226 sealed wooden boxes, by drilling a 2 feet X 1.5 feet hole on the roof of one of the coaches.
Railway ADGP Lakshmi Prasad informed that the coach was requested by the Indian Overseas Bank for transporting the cash. After the coach was finalised, it was lying at the Erode yard for an entire day. The roof of the train was chiselled, from outside, for every two inches on three sides, but was not pushed down.
The guards did not notice anything as a thin layer was left intact, which could be opened by a mere push.
Police suspect that the Erode railway staff, along with the robbers, could have planned the theft and had carved the roof up while the carriage rested in the railway yard. Police believe that the actual robbery could have happened while the train was between Salem and Vridhachalam.
The containers were bringing in soiled and damaged notes to the RBI branch in Chennai. While using the damaged notes is not possible, the soiled notes can very well be used. The remaining cash was handed over to the RBI branch. The Salem AR DSP Nagaraj, who was escorting the consignment, was in a different coach at the time of the robbery. No formal action has been taken against him as of now. DGP Ashok Kumar and ADGP JK Tripathy inspected the train in Egmore.
The RPF is currently investigating the case.