NEW DELHI/NAGPUR: The driver of a cash van who disappeared transporting Rs 22.5 crore in hard cash for refilling AXIS Bank ATMs across south-east Delhi was arrested early on Friday.
Delhi Police recovered the cash from his possession. An amount of Rs 11,000 was said to be missing, sources said.
A hunt was launched after SIS, the private security agency hired by Axis Bank to transport cash, rang up police control room around 5.30pm on Thursday to inform that one of its drivers fled with a Mahindra pick-up van stashed with money on the way from Vikaspuri to Okhla.
The driver, Pradeep Shukla, is from Uttar Pradesh and had joined the agency recently.
According to police, Shukla left the van near a petrol pump in Okhla and then hid in a warehouse.
Shukla took the metal box with cash along in the godown and slept off while police teams suspected he had fled to his hometown in UP.
Shukla reportedly switched off his phone so that his location could not be traced through technical surveillance.
Police traced the van fitted with a GPS tracker system near the Okhla industrial area.
Shukla had left the bank’s Vikaspuri office along with armed guard Vinay Patel around 3.30pm. When they reached Captain Gaur Marg near Govindpuri around 5pm, Patel asked the driver to stop as he wanted to go to the washroom.
As he got down, Shukla told him that he would keep driving and return because parking the vehicle there might cause a traffic jam. “Patel said the van never came back and he called the bank after waiting 10-15 minutes,” an officer said.
Axis Bank assured that the cash was “fully insured” and “neither the bank nor the customer would get affected”. It said the van didn’t belong to the bank and the driver was not its employee.