Staff Reporter

Accused posing as human bomb had fled with Rs. 40 lakhs

NEW DELHI: A 32-year-old man who allegedly robbed the Vikaspuri branch of UTI Bank of Rs. 40 lakhs on May 8 by posing as a human bomb has been arrested at Tilak Nagar. The police have recovered Rs. 10 lakhs and 600 U.S. dollars in cash at his instance. A hunt has been launched for his two accomplices.

According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, West Delhi, Robin Hibu, the assistant vice-president of UTI Bank, Sandeep Dham, lodged a complaint that the bank was robbed of Rs. 40 lakhs. In the complaint, he said a man entered his cabin and claimed that he was a suicide bomber and that he along with his accomplices, who were inside the bank premises, would blow themselves up if the money kept in the vault was not handed over to him. The "suicide bomber" and his accomplices fled from the scene with the money.

Acting on the complaint, a team led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Ombir Singh mounted a hunt for the culprits. Suspecting insiders' involvement, the police questioned the bank employees.

They also questioned the area hawkers and learnt that a grey Maruti Esteem had been spotted moving under suspicious circumstances on the day of the incident.

Subsequently, the police identified 300 such vehicles and began verifying the antecedents of their owners. In the meantime, they learnt that two criminals from Firozabad in Uttar Pradesh had been spotted at Vikaspuri that day. Following the lead, the police zeroed in on Sandeep Bhatnagar, a resident of Vikaspuri, as he was found to be in touch with one of the suspects. On Saturday, the police received a tip-off that Sandeep would come near B.K. Jewellers at Tilak Nagar and arrested him.

During interrogation, Sandeep allegedly revealed that the idea to commit such a crime he got from a novel named "Jameer Ka Qaidi".

After committing the robbery, he fled to Bangkok from where he returned this past Friday. The police have recovered the Maruti Esteem used to commit the crime.