Navi Mumbai bank robbery: Police form 10 teams, scan CCTV footage

Using the 30-ft-long tunnel, the accused allegedly broke open 30 lockers between Friday evening and Monday morning and stole valuables worth Rs2.85 crore from 28 of them, said police

mumbai Updated: Nov 15, 2017 00:09 IST
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Pranab Jyoti Bhuyan
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Navi Mumbai bank robbery,tunnel
Using the 30-ft-long tunnel, the accused allegedly broke open 30 lockers between Friday evening and Monday morning and stole valuables worth Rs2.85 crore from 28 of them, said police(HT)

Scouring through CCTV footage, talking to customers and officials – ten teams of the Sanpada police are now trying to get leads into the heist at Bank of Baroda through a tunnel to the locker room.

Using the 30-ft-long tunnel, the accused allegedly broke open 30 lockers between Friday evening and Monday morning and stole valuables worth Rs2.85 crore from 28 of them, said police. The heist came to light on Monday.

The police have formed ten teams and have sent one of them to as far as Jharkhand too. “Our teams are travelling outside Maharashtra too,” said a senior police official.

So far, the police have recorded statements of 28 customers whose lockers were looted. The other two are out of town. Sudhakar Pathare, deputy commissioner of police, zone 1, said, “The culprits stole 10,586gm of gold, 6,391gm of silver, Rs70,000 in cash and diamonds worth Rs50,000.”

According to the police, mobile phone records of Genu Bachchan Prasad, the tenant of the shop from where a tunnel was built, who is believed to be the prime suspect, show he was in Nashik on Sunday.

The possibility of involvement of the owner of the shop has been ruled out. “His intention was only to get rent. Prima facie, it appears the documents submitted by the accused while making the agreement were original,” said Suraj Padvi, senior inspector of Sanpada police station.

The police have got the CCTV footage of the bank and nearby buildings. “If there were CCTV cameras outside the bank, we would have got some clues about who frequented the general store from where the tunnel started. The footage that we have is not clear,”said an investigating officer.

Tushar Doshi, deputy commissioner of police (crime), said, “Officials from the crime branch are helping in the investigation, but it is led by the Sanpada police. We are exploring all possible angles.”

Will move court against the bank, say customers

Distraught after losing their savings in a heist at the Sanpada branch of Bank of Baroda, victims now plan to move court against the bank.

Prakash Hankhanvilkar, 52, a resident of Sanpada, said, “The culprits tried to break into my locker, but they could not as it was on the upper side. My locker is partially damaged. The banks hardly pay attention to the security systems. They had 225 lockers, but no armed security officials outside it. There should be a metal plate under the floor of the locker room, so that no one can enter from underground.”

“We feel the bank has cheated us. We are planning to discuss the matter and then move the civil court and the consumer court,” he said.

RK Tiwari, 43, who lost valuables worth Rs6 lakh, said, “We waited outside the bank on Monday and Tuesday, but the managers refused to speak to us. They should be held responsible for negligence. Legal action should be taken against them.”

The bank officials refused to speak to the media.

Some broke down as they got in after waiting in long queues. “Fifty tolas of gold has been stolen from my locker. All my dreams are shattered,” said DM Galante, 68, a resident of Juinagar.

First Published: Nov 15, 2017 00:09 IST