A 60-year-old man G S Mudallyar, allegedly the kingpin of robbers, who robbed Rs 80 lakh from a van carrying cash outside SBI’s Dimapur main branch on July 19 was arrested in Howrah railway station on October 28. The cash was meant for refilling ATMs here.
Dimapur commissioner of police Limasunep Jamir told reporters on Thursday evening that Mudallyar, who hails from Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, was nabbed after almost four months’ chase. He said the police pieced together clues from scratch resulting in the arrest.
Jamir said Mudallyar, the kingpin of a close-knit network of people specialising in snatch and run, orchestrated the theft in Dimapur along with nine others. Their activities reportedly span across India and operate on the move using the railways.
The gang members who committed the heist were professional criminals from Trichy village in Tiruchirappalli and operated at an “all-India-level” in which their main skill is to use attention diversion tactics.
“Eleven people carried out the heist. Eight were at the spot, two were at the railway station and another was stationed in Guwahati,” Jamir said.
On the day of the theft, one of the security guards holding the cash in a bag seated in the van waiting to move when a stranger came up to him and told him that some cash was lying on the ground. The security guard got down and saw a few small denomination notes on the ground. While this distracted his attention, another person snatched the money left unattended in the van.
Other members of the gang were already waiting in an auto-rickshaw to transport it to the bus stand at Golaghat Road from where they escaped by bus.
The gang was described as a “highly professional network,” who gives a certain percentage of the loot they make to their community. They, in turn, earn loyalty and even lawyers, to bail them whenever they get caught.