The Chennai City Police arrested five men including four bank employees after it was found that Rs 25 lakh in demonetised currency was smuggled out to be converted into new notes — but landed in the hands of thieves.
Assistant Regional Manager of the State Bank of Mysore, Manjunath, filed a complaint on Saturday stating that currency, totalling Rs. 25 lakh comprising Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes, was missing from the vault of the bank’s branch in Shastri Nagar, Adyar.
On Friday night, a city police patrol team found lights on at the Sastri Nagar branch of State Bank of Mysore after 11 pm. This raised their suspicion.
During questioning, J Elangovan, the bank cashier, claimed that `25 lakh in demonetised `1000 notes were robbed at knife-point just hours earlier. He claimed he was travelling in a car when a four-member gang waylaid him near Zamin Pallavaram and took away the cash. The money, he claimed, was being taken to a private bank at Nanganallur to be exchanged for new currencies.
Police suspect that the bank official may have struck a deal with a businessman promising to exchange the old currency notes and that he was taking the cash to another bank in Nanganallur. Police are questioned Elangovan as to why he did not use the official vehicle to transport the high value cash.
The police said a search was under way for four more accused, including Rajesh who committed the armed robbery.