This can be considered as India’s biggest train robbery in which the robbers manage to loot the cash amounting to Rs. 5.85 crore from the moving train and disappeared in the dark without any traces. According to the sources, this should be qualified as greatest train robbery in the country. How this incident happened and how robbers managed to decamp with the huge cash? Read the complete report here.
We see in the movies how the robbers plan and implements the great robberies but here is the real case of the train robbery wherein the culprits managed to decamp worth the huge cash of rupees 5.85 crores from the moving train Salem – Chennai Express. According to the sources, the police team that was deployed to safeguard the cash were traveling in the neighborhood coach were said to be unaware of the heist, which took place on the intervening night of Monday-Tuesday.
Greatest train robbery, Culprits entered inside the coach from here (source)
According to the sources, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had booked the coach to transport soiled currencies worth Rs. 342 crore in 226 boxes and while the train reached its destination four boxes out of 226 were found to have been found forced opened by the culprits. The most surprising fact here is the RPF (Railway Protection Force) and GRP (Government Railway Police) are completely clueless about the incident. They are not aware of the gang and how it managed to carry out the entire operation in the moving train. Needless to say that investigating agencies are not ruling out the possibilities of the insider’s active role in this entire operation.
The sources have revealed that the 19-coach train left the Salem station for Chennai at 9pm on Monday night at that time the mail van that was carrying the cash boxes was at the second position after the engine. But these positions changed when the train engine changed the position at Virudhachalam station, the mail van become the last coach in the formation.
When the train reached Chennai at around 4am on Tuesday it was sent to the yard and later to the Egmore station where the parcel office located. The RBI officials arrived at around 11am to collect the cash. When they entered inside the coach where the cash boxes were kept they found out that sunlight streaming in through a 2x2ft opening on the roof. The square piece of metal cut off the roof was on the coach floor. Cash was littered on the floor and four boxes were open. One box was emptied out, while another was half empty. “It was probably as much as they could carry,” said an investigator.
The opening the gang made was just enough for a person to slip through. A source in RBI said the bank transports cash at least once a week from southern parts of the state to Chennai. Indian Overseas Bank (IOB), one of the three banks whose soiled notes were being transported, said these notes were not usable. “Whoever has got the currency notes cannot make use of them unless he tries palming it off, sandwiched between genuine notes,” the IOB official said.
RPF has registered a case while GRP is assisting in the probe. Senior railway officials suspect a person who is aware of the loading pattern and train route helped the gang plan the robbery. “The Salem-Virudhachalam route is not electrified. So the gang could have been on top of the coach, cutting the hole through the three-hour journey. At Virudhachalam, the engine position shifts and the guard van is replaced by the mail van as the last coach. The gang seems to know this schedule,” said a senior railway official.
A nine-member team of Salem city police, including a deputy superintendent of police, which was assigned security for the cash, was traveling in a neighboring coach. “It was news to them also when the RBI said the money was stolen,” said GRP inspector general M Ramasubramanian. Chief postmaster general of Chennai zone had recently raised the issue of theft of postal parcels from Rail Mail Service coach and petitioned the general manager of Integral Coach Factory to attach CCTV cameras in these coaches.