At 9am, it was the usual rush hour on Lala Lajpat Rai Road near the Moolchand flyover. Suddenly, a Honda City car with five people on board came to an abrupt halt as soon as it descended the flyover.
Rs. 8 crore was looted from a car in broad daylight in Lajpat Nagar area in New Delhi. (Raj K raj/HT photo)
The driver of the luxury sedan banged his car into a grey Wagon R that had stopped right in front without any signal. Occupants of both the cars came out and an altercation ensued.
What seemed like just another road-related skirmish, which had brought traffic to a halt, turned out to be a daring plot to rob employees of two businessmen of more than Rs. 8 crore — one of the biggest daylight heists in the recent past. The money was being carried under the supervision of Rakesh Kumar, manager of two business partners — Rajesh Kalra and Rahul Ahuja — to be deposited in a branch of Punjab National Bank in Karol Bagh. Rakesh was accompanied by his driver Subodh and three others, Rakesh, Baidyanath and Sandeep.
Quoting Rakesh’s statement to the police, an officer said: “Kumar left a Kalkaji house around 8.30 am with around Rs. 3 crore and reached the Kalra’s office in Greater Kailash Part-I in with Subodh. They took Rs. 4.69 crore from the office and kept the entire amount in five bags, most of them laptop bags. They kept the bags in their car and left for Karol Bagh in the Honda City car.”
Rakesh told the police that while they were arguing with the occupants of the Wagon R car, a white Hyundai Verna arrived at the spot and four men got out. “They pointed pistol(s) at us and asked us to step aside. Some of them got in the Honda City car and flee with the money. The others sped away in the Verna car, leaving behind the Wagon R on the crime scene,” the officer said, quoting the statement.
The first call to the police was made at 9.35am and the second around 9.50am. Police said the Verna car was found abandoned on the Defence Colony flyover on the same passageway almost 1.5 km away from the spot. A couple of fake number plates, an iron rod, a white towel and a packet of red chilli powder were found inside the vehicle. Around 2 pm, the Honda City car was recovered from near the Sewa Nagar Railway Crossing, barely two kilometres from the crime scene. Two empty bags were found inside the car.
Investigations revealed that the Verna car was robbed on January 21 from west Delhi’s Mundka while the Wagon R car was robbed from Jahangirpuri on January 24.