11 offenders in SBI ATM theft case nabbed
Stolen cash, jewellery worth over Rs 2 crore recovered Main accused Sridhar Reddy led luxurious life,...
- Stolen cash, jewellery worth over Rs 2 crore recovered
- Main accused Sridhar Reddy led luxurious life, and even invested in a Telugu movie
- They hoped to replace the stolen amount with film's profit l Police found Rs 1 lakh in fake notes in ATM
Rajahmundry : Rajahmundry Urban district police on Tuesday produced 11 suspects before the media after cracking the sensational case in which Rs 7.31 crore was stolen from an SBI ATM here and one person was killed on June 23. They recovered cash and jewellery worth Rs.2,01,61,500. Pouroju Srinivas, in-charge of chest of Scientific Security Management Services Pvt Ltd, which refills about 20 ATMs of SBI here, was killed. The Rajahmundry branch of SSMS, vault-cum-office is located behind the Government Arts College.
Rajahmundry urban district police Superintendent T Ravi Kumar Murthy said Gujju Sai Prasada Reddy was in-charge of the Rajahmundry branch and his cousin Gujju Sridhar Reddy, whom the police named as the main accused, had joined as the Kakinada branch in-charge in 2008. Both siphoned off money from the beginning.
Sai Prasada Reddy had drawn Rs 2.5 lakh for the first time. They used to rotate money from Rajahmundry and Kakinada branches to cover their lapses. Both bought properties and even financed a Telugu film, 'Ee Prematho' which is scheduled to release shortly. They had vices and spent a lot on luxuries and visiting tourist spots, like Darjeeling and Gangtok, using money stolen from the chest. They used the money in cricket betting too.
The SSMS management had sacked Sai Prasad Reddy and appointed Srinivas as in-charge of the Rajahmundry branch. Srinivas was his close friend. Sai Prasada Reddy used to take money from the chest. Srinivas was also involved in the siphoning of money. Sridhar Reddy had convinced others that there would be a profit of Rs 5 crore from the film which would help them in replacing the stolen amount.
Sridhar Reddy had planned to create a scene to make the police believe that robbers had stolen the amount. The offenders had tried in vain to cut the chest with a welder. Scenting possible problem, he fled from Rajahmundry on May 19. The gang planned to commit robbery after killing the security guard on June 22; but, as the security guard did not attend citing health problems they changed the date to June 23. Sridhar Reddy, Srinivas and others consumed liquor in a bar here on the night of June 23. At 10.30, Srinivas got a call from the security guard that he was not coming for duty. He decided to sleep in the office. As there was only Rs 98 lakh in the locker Srinivas gave Rs 40 lakh to Kakinada branch to fill it.
Sridhar Reddy fearing Srinivas might tell the police of the plan decided to kill him along with Seerapu Srinu, Kadali Veera Venkateswara Rao and Gujju Kurma Reddy. They came to the Rajahmundry branch of SSMS at 2.30 a.m on June 24 and attacked him with blades and hanged to death to convince the police that it was a suicide. They sprinkled chilli powder on blood stains to fool the sniffer dogs. They escaped with Rs 58 lakh in the locker. They used new SIM cards while conversing on mobiles.
Sridhar Reddy spent over Rs.3 crore buying properties and visiting tourist places. He bought a tent house and donated Rs 3 lakh for a temple. He joined YSRCP and spent a lot of money with the aim of becoming the deputy mayor of Kakinada. He refilled the lockers with fake currency, taken from Anji Reddy of Anaparti and gave him Rs 50,000. He bought a pistol in Kolkota and two houses. He loved a Punjabi cabaret dancer and even planned to marry her.
The accused managed to fool the bank officials, as they knew which ATM was not having full amount. When the officials made a surprise visit, one custodian abscond for some tine citing illness. When they visited the ATM with sufficient money the custodians used to transfer the amount to another during the surprise inspections. They even typed wrong amounts in ATMs for. displayed. The police believe that bank officials were not aware of the tricks played by the accused.