The driver of a van that was carrying cash for ATMs drove off with Rs 54 lakh as his three colleagues were preparing to refill the money dispensing machine in the crowded Karol Bagh market on Wednesday morning.
The cash van belonging to a cash replenishment company - Cash Management Services (CMS) - was later found abandoned in Raigerpura, which is less than a kilometer from Padam Singh Road, where the van had stopped to refill an Axis Bank ATM, police said.
The box where the cash was kept was found open inside the van and Rs 54 lakh and the van's driver Sanjay were missing. The incident was reported to the police at around 11am and a case of theft has been registered at the Karol Bagh police station.
Police suspect involvement of two more persons with whom the driver fled with the cash on a motorcycle after abandoning the van.
A senior police officer said the cash van had left CMS's office in Jhandewalan in the morning with Rs 83 lakh in cash which was to be refilled in different ATMs of Axis Bank. Apart from the driver, the van had three more people - two custodians, Kapil and Amit Mishra, and one security guard FD Sharma.
"After refilling cash in two ATMs, the van stopped outside at Padam Singh Road and the two custodians went inside the ATM booth to refill cash. As soon as they put down the shutter of the ATM, Sanjay asked Sharma to get down and help him in reversing the van.
"The moment Sharma went behind the vehicle, Sanjay sped of. He stopped the vehicle in Raigerpura, took out Rs 54 lakh from the cash box and fled on a motorcycle with his two associates," the officer added.
Meanwhile, Axis Bank in a statement clarified that neither the cash van nor the driver belonged to them. "The FIR too has been filed by the cash replenishment agency - CMS," the press statement said.