Key suspect and aide in ATM heists brought to Chennai 

The mastermind behind the ATM robberies that occurred in Tiruvannamalai on February 12 and an accomplice were taken from their hometown in Nuh district of Haryana to Chennai by flight on Friday.

Tiruvannamalai Superintendent of Police K. Karthikeyan, who is camping in Haryana for the case, told The Hindu on the phone that Mohammed Arif, 35, and his friend and accomplice, Azad, 37, were arrested and taken to Chennai by flight by a special team of the Tamil Nadu police. From Chennai, they will be taken to Tiruvannamalai by road and produced before a court.

Mohammed Arif

Mr. Karthikeyan also confirmed the authenticity of the photographs of the suspects that went viral on social media on Friday. He said Arif was also an accused in a murder at an ATM in Haryana. “We have recovered ₹3 lakh in cash from the duo. The stolen vehicle used by the suspects has not been seized yet…,” he said.

The police said a vehicle missing complaint in respect of the sport utility vehicle, which was reportedly used for the heists by the gang, was given by C. Rajesh, a resident in Tirupati, at the Muthyala Reddypalli police station on February 11. He said the vehicle went missing since the night of February 10.

The police said the gang used the stolen vehicle for the heists and returned to their hideout at KGF (Kolar) in Karnataka. The gang stayed at a hotel at KGF for nearly two days before they boarded a flight at the Bengaluru airport. They reached the airport by road. Nine police teams have been formed for investigating the case.

Of the four burgled ATMs, two were located near Thenimalai on the Thandrampattu Main Road and near the Mariamman temple in Tiruvannamalai town. The third ATM was located near the railway station at Polur and the fourth was located near the Government Boys High School at Kalasapakkam. Three ATMs belong to the State Bank of India and one belongs to India One.

At the four ATMs the cash stolen was ₹32 lakh (Thandrampattu Main Road); ₹19.50 lakh (Mariamman temple);, ₹18 lakh (Polur); and ₹3 lakh (Kalasapakkam).

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