17-year-old brain behind Delhi heist

Office boy ropes in criminal for the plot

A juvenile office boy of businessman Rajesh Kalra has been identified as the mastermind of Tuesday’s Rs 7.69 crore heist in south east Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar. 

Delhi Police have apprehended him and arrested three of his accomplices. Sources said investigators have recovered around Rs 1.50 crore of the looted cash.

According to Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell and Training) S N Shrivastava, the accused have been identified as Gulzar alias Bhola, Tilak alias Tinku and Praveen, residents of south Delhi’s Chattarpur. Raids are being conducted to nab at least six of his accomplices.

“The plot was unearthed during extensive interrogation of Kalra’s employees and on the basis of other crucial information,” said Shrivastava. 

The 17-year-old, a resident of south Delhi’s Madangir, was in the Honda City car on Tuesday, but was constantly misleading police by providing false information. 

He, however, broke down when confronted with evidence on Thursday. He also revealed about being aware of Kalra’s monetary transactions and contacting a criminal named Shakti Naidu to plan the heist.

Shakti, who was arrested in a bank robbery case in 2002, roped in a criminal from north-west Delhi’s Karala village, Pradeep, who then approached at least nine others. Once the gang was in place, they drew an elaborate map of the route taken by Kalra’s employees to transfer cash in a Honda City car. 

“They also did a recce of the route on January 24. Then the entire heist was planned in detail, including the interception point and escape routes,” another police officer added.The juvenile was the one who was passing on information to the gang. On Monday, he tipped off the gang that a huge amount of money was scheduled to be transported on Tuesday. In the Honda City car, the boy was using over five mobile phone numbers to inform the gang about the movement of the car through text messages.

Probe further revealed that three cars were used by the accused in the crime – a Maruti WagonR, Hyundai Verna and a Volkswagen Jetta. 

While the WagonR and Verna were found abandoned on the day of the heist, the accused have revealed that the cash was taken away in the Jetta car owned by Shakti.  Police are yet to recover the Jetta.

The gang had also charted out an escape route bereft of toll plazas where they might have been captured on CCTV cameras. “The looted cash was taken to south Delhi’s Mahipalpur, where it was distributed amongst the accused,” the officer said. 

They then fled in different directions using bus and taxis. Gulzar, Tilak and Praveen had fled to Shimla in a taxi. They were arrested in Chandigarh in a joint operation with Chandigarh Police on Friday.

The employees of Kalra and his business partner Rahul Ahuja were heading towards central Delhi’s Karol Bagh on Tuesday when the gang waylaid them at gunpoint and fled with the car carrying Rs 7.69 crore cash. 

A case has been filed with Lajpat Nagar police station.

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