Police to review cash transport firms’ security; mull action against Logicash

Top cop asks zonal Deputy Commissioners of Police to hold meetings with such agencies

March 21, 2017 12:45 am | Updated 06:21 pm IST

: Police investigate at the spot in Dharavi where a ATM cash van was looted. Deepak Salvi

: Police investigate at the spot in Dharavi where a ATM cash van was looted. Deepak Salvi

Mumbai: In the light of the theft of ₹1.50 crore in cash from a transport van in Dharavi last week, the Mumbai Police will be holding meetings with all secure transport agencies in the city to review their security measures and issue instructions to upgrade them wherever necessary.

On Thursday, four men approached a van on an ATM-refilling run and distracted the driver, while two others stole a trunk containing the cash from the back of the van. The police arrested three members of a tak-tak gang of thieves from Trichy, and recovered ₹15 lakh. The hunt for at least six more accused in on.

Instances of negligence

According to senior police officials, the decision to take a closer look at the security measures implemented by such agencies was taken after several instances of negligence were observed on part of Logicash.

“The Commissioner of Police has instructed all zonal Deputy Commissioners of Police to hold meetings with all such agencies in their jurisdictions and review the measures taken by them, and to recommend upgrades wherever necessary,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti.

Investigations have found that the van had been parked across the street from the ATM centre on Sion–Bandra Link Road. Further, not only did all the three guards enter the ATM booth to refill the machines, leaving the driver alone and the cash in the van unguarded, they also left the back door unlocked. The driver, too, was found to have displayed negligence by exiting the van, something he is not supposed to do, said officials.

The police are mulling action against Logicash, or at least the guards and the driver deployed on the van, for their negligence.

Mr. Bharti said, “We are waiting for the team to complete its investigation into the matter, and the further course of action will be decided based on the report.”

Security measures

Sunil Udupa, chairman and managing director of Securens Systems, listed out measures that could be taken to make cash vans more secure.

“There are a variety of measures, ranging from simple ones like not having back doors to the more high-tech ones like having panic buttons that start sirens and cut off fuel supply to the vehicle. However, none of these are implemented in India. Unfortunately, the level of security for cash transport vans, which hold large amounts of cash at any given time, is much inferior to the level of security implemented abroad,” said Mr. Udupa. Securens provides solutions to several banks, ATM centres, cash vans, schools and school buses, and other establishments, across the country. Police officials said while most instances of cash vans being robbed were due to insider help or insiders themselves committing the crimes, the Dharavi heist was a rare case.

Tak-tak gangs

“The tak-tak gangs have been successful in stealing valuables from private vehicles by distracting drivers, and the fact that they succeeded in doing so with a cash transport van is a matter of concern. It calls for a closer look at the procedures implemented by them,” said a senior police officer.

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