Over a dozen of armed motorcycle-borne criminals looted Rs. 1.25 crore from a Punjab National Bank (Chapra branch) vehicle ferrying the cash on Wednesday.
This was described as the state's biggest bank cash heist since Rs. 70 lakh in cash belonging to the Sonepur branch of SBI was looted in Hajipur in 2012, while it was being moved.
Confirming the, Saran superintendent of police (SP) Sujeet Kumar said that the looted amount, confirmed as being Rs. 1.25 crore, was being moved from the Chapra town branch of PNB to the bank’s Janata bazaar branch, about 20 km from the district headquarters town of Chapra.
Sources said the criminals broke through the rear window of the cash van and took away the cash box. They shot and injured home guard jawans providing ‘security cover’ to the vehicle, which was left by the roadside.
The injured jawans were admitted to a Chapra hospital.
The SP said the criminals intercepted the cash van near the Harpur petrol pump on the Baniyapur-Jalalpur road around 1:50 pm, shot at the security men, snatched the cash box and fled the scene.
Notably, Rs. 70 lakh belonging to the Sonepur branch of SBI was looted in under similar circumstances near the old Gandak bridge under the Hajipur Town PS of north Bihar’s Vaishali district in 2012.
Meanwhile, police sources said the criminals appeared to have been tipped off about the time and amount of the cash remittance.
The SP said the driver of cash remittance van and the security guards were being grilled to elicit details of the incident. An FIR had been lodged at the Baniyapur police station, based on the statement of bank employees escorting the cash.