Train heist: CB-CID alerts banks on exchange of soiled notes

Money trail:Police inspecting a hole made by robbers on the roof of the parcel van of Salem-Chennai Express and stole huge amounts of soiled notes recently.— File Photo: R. Ragu  

: The Crime Branch CID of the Tamil Nadu police, in its quest to trace the suspects in the daring August train heist, have written to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and law-enforcing agencies in other States to keep tabs on those trying to exchange soiled or mutilated Rs. 500 currency notes at banks or other financial institutions/sources.

The agency that is investigating the daring robbery of Rs. 5.75 crore cash from the parcel van of the Salem-Chennai Express which reached here early on August 9 this year is yet to achieve a breakthrough though investigators claimed to have probed all possible angles.

“We have written to the RBI and other security agencies to keep a watch at banks and step up vigil on middlemen organising exchange of bulk cash after the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes. The entire money stolen was of Rs. 500 denomination which is invalid now,” a CB-CID official told The Hindu on Monday.

Asked about the likelihood of the suspects still keeping the money, the official said since security was beefed across the State immediately after the incident and police conducted surprise checks on vehicles, it was possible that the robbers might have kept the stolen cash for use at a later stage. “The demonetisation has come as a surprise to all. If the accused have not spent or exchanged the stolen money so far, then it is a ‘now or never’ situation for them,” he said.

Parrying questions on whether investigators had any specific clues that could lead to a breakthrough in the case, the official who preferred not to be quoted said neither eyewitness accounts nor technical inputs could provide any credible lead so far. “Our teams are still working on this…we are also in close touch with our counterparts in neighbouring States. A surveillance mechanism is also in place at gold markets in case the accused try to purchase small quantities of gold with the stolen money,” he added.

At least six hours after Train No. 11064 Salem-Chennai Express arrived in Chennai the next morning, the theft of Rs. 5.75 crore came to light.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 11:13:41 AM |

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