An air-vent in one of the coaches carrying cash boxes was found broken, triggering doubts that someone could have entered from its roof
In a dramatic heist in a moving train, five crore in Indian Rupees ($ 750,000) out of the Rs340 crore cash being sent to Reserve Bank of India in Chennai from Salem in South India's Tamil Nadu was found stolen on Tuesday, police said.
The Salem Express left Salem in Tamil Nadu on Monday night. It was carrying a consignment of Rs 342 crore in currency kept in 226 boxes.
After covering a distance of 350 kilometres when the train reached Chennai on Tuesday morning at 3.55am, the staff found that the consignment was robbed.
A sum of Rupees five crore had been stolen, inspector- general of poilce M Ramasubramani said on Tuesday evening.
"Out of the 226 wooden boxes, four boxes were found tampered with soon after the train reached Chennai from Salem," said an RBI official.
Police said an air-vent in one of the three cargo coaches in which the cash boxes were kept was found broken, triggering doubts that someone could have entered from its roof.
They suspect that culprits could have entered the coach on the Salem-Vriddhachalam section where trains don't run on electricity but on diesel locomotives, making it easy for the robbers to make their way from the top.
The consignment was reportedly guarded by heavy security and the assistant commissioner of police.
Police said they were probing many angles including how the theft could have happened despite police protection provided to the cash which had both currency notes printed prior to 2005 as well as soiled notes.