Thieves make off with Rs 5.5m in cash from Indian bank by drilling hole into wall

·2 min read
Representative image: A government bank in India. The robbery took place in Union Bank of India in Delhi on Sunday (AFP via Getty Images)
Representative image: A government bank in India. The robbery took place in Union Bank of India in Delhi on Sunday (AFP via Getty Images)

Thieves snuck out with more than Rs 5.5 million (£53000) in cash from one of India’s government-owned banks by drilling holes into the wall and floor.

The break-in was executed by an unidentified group of people on Sunday but was reported to the police on Monday when the bank’s staff returned to find the gaping hole in the wall, police said.

The bank heist took place at the Union Bank of India’s branch in east Delhi’s Vishwas Nagar area.

Police said it seemed to be a “meticulously planned” heist during which the burglars disabled the CCTV cameras fitted inside the bank.

The robbers broke into the bank by drilling through the wall from the side of an under-construction building. They then drilled another hole on the floor to enter the bank’s basement where the vaults were located. After looting the vaults, the robbers snuck out through the same route, reported the Hindustan Times.

The thieves used gas cutters to break open one of the vaults and escaped with the money. They not touch the lockers that contained jewellery, police said.

"The stolen money was cash collection and transactions of Friday and Saturday. We have registered a case of trespass and theft against unknown persons at the Farsh Bazar police station. Prima facie, it appears that the thieves conducted a detailed reconnaissance of the bank and planned everything meticulously,” said R Sathiyasundaram Deputy Commissioner of Police of Shahdara.

He added that the police “certainly” have clues in the case. Forensic experts reached the bank to collect evidence and the entire building was cordoned off.

Investigators said they are also looking into the possibility of an insider playing a role in the heist. Police have prepared a list of bank employees and are trying to ascertain their whereabouts at the time of the robbery.

Following the news of the heist, several anxious account holders rushed to the bank.

"Many of our relatives have their accounts with the bank at this branch. They had come here in the morning and found out about the theft and informed us. Even we have accounts here, accounts that are linked with our business, and are worried. We have not been given any details by the management," a customer told NDTV.

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