The Amboli police on Friday night detained the driver of a cash-transport van who fled with the van and stole Rs 40 lakh of the Rs 83 lakh in cash it contained.
Praveen Belokar (28) was detained when he came to an Andheri (E) hospital to meet his pregnant wife, who is admitted there for the delivery, police sources said. Three of his associates have also been detained.
Additional Commissioner of Police (West) Amitabh Gupta said: “The investigation is on, so I will not comment.”
Police said Belokar worked as a driver with Brink’s Arya, a security agency that transports cash for Automated Teller Machines (ATM) of banks in the city. On Friday, he was driving a van containing Rs 83 lakh, with two cashiers and a guard.
The van reached ABN Amro’s ATM at Infiniti mall, Andheri (W), to deposit cash. When the cashiers and guard went into the ATM and returned, they found the van missing.
Police said Belokar abandoned the van outside a mall nearby, taking Rs 40 lakh with him. A woman constable in plainclothes was posted at the hospital.
“A police team reached the hospital as soon as she sounded an alert, and detained him,” said the source not authorised to speak to the media.
Belokar had told his wife he was kidnapped and taken to an unknown location, and freed only when he had given them the Rs 40 lakh.
On interrogation, Belokar confessed, admitting that he had planned the heist four days ago.
He said after fleeing from the ATM, he stopped in front of the nearby Mega mall, where his associates were waiting for him in an autorickshaw.
The cash, hidden at a location in Dombivli, was not found till the time of going to press.