Man who robbed more than 20 banks arrested by Gurugram PoliceUpdated: Oct 26, 2020, 23:21 IST
A 35-year-old man has been arrested for robbing more than 20 banks across eight states over the last decade, said the police on Monday.
The suspect, identified as Gajraj Kumar of Karoli village in Rajasthan, was wanted by the police departments of Haryana and Tamil Nadu for the past two years. The police said he joined his friend’s gang who allegedly used to steal valuables from lockers of banks and courier offices in Rajasthan. He allegedly joined the gang after he lost a huge amount of money in gambling and was unable to pay back his debt.
Based on a tip-off, Kumar was arrested from Jaipur on Sunday. According to the police, he had returned from Madhya Pradesh after allegedly robbing a bank last week. The police said Kumar, and three of his aides, had robbed the bank of gold and ₹10 lakh cash,, which are yet to be recovered.
Preet Pal Sangwan, assistant commissioner of police (crime), said, in early 2008, Kumar allegedly met a criminal in his village who helped him to pay off his debt. Together, they formed a gang to rob a local Gramin Bank. “He had lost nearly ₹80,000 in a month and had taken a loan from family and friends to gamble,” Sangwan said, adding that he had also started betting on cricket matches and mostly lost.
“He first thought to target a bank which was close to his village. He allegedly broke the bank wall but could not succeed in entering the strong room. After spending four hours inside, he returned empty-handed,” said Sangwan recounting Kumar’s confession.
The police said his first two attempts at robbing a bank were unsuccessful. However, between March and December 2008, he allegedly robbed nine banks in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh , Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Sangwan said Kumar allegedly paid off his debt and bought land in his village in Rajasthan with the loot money. “He was arrested for the first time in 2011 for an attempted robbery in Rajasthan, later by Himachal Pradesh Police and was lodged in Una Jail for nearly a year,” he said.
The police said Kumar met criminals in the jail where he was lodged and made strong networks in nine states. Later, he started visiting places such as Jhansi, Gwalior, Aligarh, Haridwar,Allahabad, Jaipur, Raipur in Chattisgarh, Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu and Sheopur in Madhya Pradesh for recce and conducting robberies.
Sangwan added that Kumar along with his associates would fly to all places, but never returned with any loot money or goods. He allegedly sold the gold locally and transferred the money through hawala. “He made sure he never kept more than ₹25,000 in his bank accounts to ensure he was never under the scanner,” Sangwan said.
Kumar was taken on a six-day police remand on Monday and was sent to 14-day judicial custody. The police said they have informed Tamil Nadu Police who will visit Bhondsi jail to question him. He will be taken on production remand to Tamil Nadu for further investigation and for recovery of robbed items, the police said.