ATM cash heist foiled, van driver nabbed

The driver of an ATM cash delivery van who drove off with Rs22.5 crore in cash meant for refilling AXIS Bank ATMs across south-east Delhi was arrested early on Friday, and all but Rs11,000 was recovered from him.

According to police, driver Pradeep Shukla and armed guard Vinay Patel, both employees with the Security and Intelligence Services (SIS), were tasked to deliver the cash.

"The incident happened on Thursday after the two left the Vikaspuri Axis Bank branch in west Delhi to ATMs in Okhla, which was their next destination to deliver the cash. Midway, the guard asked the driver to stop as he wanted to attend to nature's call," a police officer said on Thursday night.

When the gunman got off the van, the driver sped away.

The police said Shukla fled from the spot and put all the money in a godown in Okhla area. Then he came back to Govindpuri Metro Station, abandoned the van and went back to the godown in Okhla.

Shukla was sleeping in the godown when the police arrested him.

Shukla is from Uttar Pradesh and had joined the agency recently.

Shukla reportedly switched off his phone to avoid detection, but police traced the van fitted with a GPS tracker system near the Okhla industrial area.

Axis Bank assured that the cash was ''fully insured'' and ''neither the bank nor the customers would be affected''. It said the van didn't belong to the bank and the driver was not its employee.