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Cash van heist: police nab 3 in Kodagu forest, recover Rs 6.3 cr

Published On : 17 May 2017   |  Reported By : Courtesy : DHNS   |  Pic On: Photo credit : DHNS

Mangaluru (DHNS): Two of the three employees of a cash logistics company, who reportedly drove off with Rs 7.5 crore instead of transporting it to the Axis Bank’s Koramangala branch in Bengaluru on May 11, were caught on Tuesday.

Another man, who helped them flee and hide the cash in the forest, has also been apprehended. The custodian of the vehicle, who was hired by the bank’s manager, has been detained, too, but he says the three men assaulted him before fleeing with the cash.

In a joint operation, the Mangaluru police and the Kodagu district crime intelligence bureau arrested the cash vehicle’s driver, Karibasappa (24), gunman Poovanna (38) and Karyappa (46), who had helped them flee, in Kumbaragadige village, about 20 km from Somwarpet town in Kodagu district. Parashuram, the custodian of the vehicle, also has been detained. Another guard, Basappa, is on the run. Police have recovered Rs 6.3 crore from the suspects.

Karibasappa, Poovanna and Basappa worked for the cash logistics company, Sis Prosegur-Holdings. Poovanna’s younger brother, Bheemaiah, an office assistant in the Bengaluru branch of the company who went missing after the heist, remains untraceable.

The men had left Axis Bank’s currency chest at Yeyyadi in Mangaluru in a Mahindra Bolero at 8.30 am on May 11 but didn’t reach Bengaluru even the next morning. The vehicle was found abandoned at Arasu Kallahalli in Hunsur taluk of Chamarajanagar district on the evening of May 12. Mangaluru Police Commissioner M Chandra Sekhar told journalists what happened next. The men went to Somwarpet by public transport and then reached the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary at Kumbaragadige with Karyappa’s help.

A special police team, led by ACPs Shruthi N S and Valentine D’Souza, looked for them in Bengaluru, Madikeri, Mysuru and Chitradurga. The crucial lead came when a man named Girish made a call to the mobile phone of one of the suspects. The phone’s location was Somwarpet. Around 50 police personnel reached Somwarpet two days ago and managed to catch the suspects who had buried the cash in the forest and were camping in a tent nearby. Chandra Sekhar clarified that no bank staffer was involved in the heist, though the role of Parashuram is being verified. Police are now searching for the remaining cash — Rs 1.2 crore — and believe it could be with Bheemaiah and Basappa.

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