MP cash seizure: Arrested trio had looted Rs 1.74 cr from UP

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Seoni (MP) Feb 3 (PTI) The three persons arrested in connection with the recovery of Rs 1.74 crore cash from an SUV in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh had looted it from Kaushambi district in Uttar Pradesh as per a plan involving an employee of a Varanasi-based bullion trader, police said on Wednesday.

The trio was arrested on Sunday after their SUV caught fire, an officer said, adding that the accused had placed the half-burnt Rs 1.87 lakh notes they had salvaged from the bonnet and other parts of the vehicle, on a road.

'The accused identified as Sunil Verma (35), Gyas Babu (42) and Hariom Yadav (38) were produced in the district court in Seoni on Wednesday which remanded them to judicial custody,' Seoni superintendent of police Kumar Prateek told reporters.

The accused persons are residents of Uttar Pradesh, he said.

Initially, the trio tried to mislead the police saying they were paid by a Varanasi-based bullion trader for delivering him gold, the SP said.

However, their interrogation revealed that the trio had looted the cash by hatching a conspiracy.

The incident occurred at a dhaba (roadside eatery) near Kaushambi on January 30-31.

Harinath Yadav, brother of Hariom Yadav, who works for the bullion trader, is the mastermind if the crime, the SP said, adding he was already arrested and is in custody of UP Police.

The police officer said Harinath Yadav used to carry cash worth crores belonging to the bullion trader to Mumbai to purchase gold and silver.

Harainath Yadav in connivance with his brother and two others (Verma and Babu) devised a plan to steal the cash and decided to stage robbery, the SP said, adding that all the accused had planned to share the cash equally.

The accused persons wanted to repay the debts they had incurred for purchasing houses in Mumbai and also settle other outstandings, he said.

'As per the plan, Hariom Yadav and two others left from Mumbai for Kaushambi in an SUV on January 29. They reached Chacha dhabha near Kaushambi and waited for the arrival of Harinath Yadav on January 30,' the SP said.

As soon as Harinath Yadav arrived at the spot in an SUV carrying Rs 1.74 crore, the trio attacked it with lathis and a hammer and ran away with the vehicle, Prateek said.

'The trio later stopped the vehicle at an isolated spot, located nearly 10-12 kms away from the dhaba, where they shifted the cash in their SUV and escaped via Maihar- Jabalpur-Seoni for Mumbai,' the SP said.

However, the engine of the SUV caught fire midway in Seoni district, forcing them to stop, he said.

'The accused took out the entire cash along with the partially-burnt notes of Rs 1.87 lakh from the vehicle and kept the bag on the road,' the SP said.

However, nature spoiled their plans as a sudden gush of wind blew away the partially-burnt notes, following which the trio panicked and fled from the spot in the SUV.

Meanwhile, police were alerted, he said, adding that the trio was intercepted near Kurai village by the police, the SP said.

'Villagers found the partially-burnt bank notes of Rs 500 denomination lying strewn in a large number between Bamhani and Kurai villages which clearly reflects that the trio was carrying much more cash than the seized amount,' the SP said.

He said the bullion trader had filed a complaint with the police in Kaushambi that the amount of Rs 40 lakh were looted from his SUV.

'But the police in Seoni recovered over Rs 1.74 crore from the trio. The seized notes included Rs 1.87 lakh in a half-burnt condition and another Rs 40,000 which were almost totally burnt,' Prateek said.

Seoni police has registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the CrPc, he said.

He said the court refused to grant custody of the accused trio to the Kaushambi police team for want of necessary documents. PTI COR MAS NSK NSK