Pune: Day after heist, police book officials of non-banking entity, firm which operated ATM over ‘inadequate security cover’

This is the second such incident in Pune district since July 18, in which the burglars have triggered a blast to break open the cash dispenser in an ATM kiosk.

AS police probe the ATM heist in which burglars triggered an IED blast to break the cash-dispensing machine, office-bearers of the non-banking entity and its local franchise that operated the kiosk have been booked for not providing adequate security cover.

In the heist at the ATM kiosk located at Bhamboli village near Chakan town around 2.30 am on Wednesday, the burglars had triggered a blast using a contraption like an improvised explosive device to break open the dispenser, before fleeing with Rs 30 lakh in cash. The ATM kiosk was of a non-banking payment services provider headquartered in Mumbai and was operated by a local franchise owner.

Further probe into the case has revealed that when the two suspected burglars came to the kiosk, its shutter was down and it was locked. They broke the locks to enter the kiosk and set up an IED on the side of the dispenser, before closing the shutter and coming out.

Subsequently, they triggered the blast which not only broke open the dispenser, exposing the cash trays, but also caused such an impact that the shutter was hurled a few meters from the kiosk. The two burglars then collected the cash from the machine and also the money that was scattered in the kiosk. They left behind some cash in one of the ATM trays and also some on the ground, possibly because it was dark, officials said.

Police probe has also revealed that after the blast took place, the owner of the place which houses the kiosk, Somnath Pinjan, came to the spot within a few minutes. As the burglars were fleeing and he tried to stop them, they threatened to shoot him, possibly with a firearm, police said.

“We have registered an offence against the office-bearers of the payment services company and also those of the franchise which operated this specific unit. In violation of the written instructions to deploy adequate security systems, the concerned persons had not installed any CCTV cameras on the premises, except the one at the machine, and had installed no alarm mechanism either. The company and franchise owners are now passing the buck on each other. Both of them had the responsibility to take these measures,” said Inspector Arvind Pawar of Mahalunge police station under Pimpri Chinchwad commissionerate, which has jurisdiction over the area.

The company and franchise office-bearers have been booked under provisions of Bombay Police Act for violation of police orders and also under Indian Penal Code sections 188 (Disobeying order promulgated by public servant) and 109 (abetment of a crime). Meanwhile, police are also taking help from experts from the CRPF’s Institute of IED Management to analyse the blast, and they have also sent the swabs collected from the spot for forensic analysis.

This is the second such incident in Pune district since July 18, in which the burglars have triggered a blast to break open the cash dispenser in an ATM kiosk. On the night of July 18, a similar burglary attempt was reported in Ranjangaon industrial area under Pune Tural jurisdiction.

Inspector Pawar added, “We have formed multiple teams and are working with different agencies to solve the case. We are looking at similar cases of ATM heists with blasts that have taken place in other parts of the country.”

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