Two men, who allegedly stole cheques worth Rs 20 lakh from drop boxes at ATM kiosks in Mumbai, Rajasthan and Gujarat over the last one-and-a-half year, were arrested from their residence in Bhayander on Friday.
Deeparam Chowdhary, 30, and his brother-in-law Karsan Chowdhary, 27, have been on the run since 2011.
“The duo would enter the ATM kiosks during the watchman’s lunch break. While one of them kept a watch outside, the other would open the drop box with a screwdriver and remove cheques from it,” said SN Bhandge, assistant inspector of Powai police station.
They would then carefully scrape the name of the payee on the cheque, said the police. Being illiterate, they would get someone else to sign their names on the cheques in lieu of commission.
“The accused had targeted several ATM centres in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Mumbai. On June 20, they stole cheques from an ATM centre in Hiranandani, Powai. But, the image of one of them was captured on the CCTV camera,” said Bajirao Bhosle, senior inspector, Powai police station.
“While we were on the lookout for them after the incident, they targeted two other ATM centres in Dadar and Thane,” said Bhosle.
The police also arrested Liaqat Shaikh, 37, who had helped the accused procure fake PAN cards and driving licences that were used to open 13 bank accounts under different names.
The police have, so far, recovered Rs11.85 lakh and a four-wheele from the duo, who has been remanded in police custody till July 27.