Police have arrested the main defendant involved in the theft of Rs 12 crore cash from ICICI bank in Thane’s Manpada area of Pune after more than two and a half months, an official said on Wednesday.
Police also recovered around 9 crore rupees from the main defendant, identified as 43-year-old Altaf Shaikh, he said.
With Shaikh’s arrest on Monday, police have so far arrested five defendants in the case, including his sister Neelofer. The theft took place on July 12.
“Shaikh, a resident of Mumbra, was working with ICICI Bank as a depositary. and gathering tools to succeed,” the Manpada police station official said.
During the investigation, police discovered that Shaikh had planned the whole robbery by expanding the air conditioning duct to fit the money down the garbage chute and tampering with CCTV footage, he added.
“After disabling the alarm system and sabotaging the CCTV, Shaikh had opened the bank safe and transferred the money down the conduit and below into the chute. The incident erupted after the bank surrendered realized that the money for security was missing, as was the DVR of CCTV, prompting its staff to call the inspection team,” the official said.
After the incident, Shaikh fled. He would change his appearance and use the burqa to hide his identity. Shaikh’s sister, Neelofer, who knew about his move, hid some money in her house. She was named as a co-defendant in the case and arrested, police said.
Shaikh was finally arrested in Pune on Monday. The police managed to recover around nine crore rupees, out of the 12.20 crore rupees stolen from the bank, and the remaining amount would soon be recovered, he said.
Shaikh was arrested in a joint operation by Thane Police and Navi Mumbai. Earlier, the police arrested Neelofer and three other people – Abrar Qureshi (33 years old), Ahmed Khan (33 years old) and Anuj Giri (30 years old).
Other people are likely to be arrested in this case and further investigation is underway, the official said.
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