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Mumbai: Inspired by Netflix’s ‘Money Heist’, ICICI bank official Altaf Shaikh loots Rs 34 crores from his bank vault, arrested

The police arrested Shaikh from Pune on Monday and recovered around Rs 9 crore from him. His sister, identified as Niloufer, and his other three partners in crime, Qureshi, Ahmed Khan and Anuj Giri have also been arrested.

The Mumbai police have arrested Altaf Shaikh, the vault custodian of the Integrated Currency Management Centre of ICICI Bank in Dombivli, Mumbai, who had on July 9 executed an elaborate heist and siphoned off Rs 34 crore from his own bank’s cash vault. The police arrested Shaikh from Pune on Monday and recovered around Rs 9 crore from him. His sister, identified as Niloufer, and his other three partners in crime, Qureshi, Ahmed Khan and Anuj Giri have also been arrested.

The police, which took almost three months to crack the case, said that the accused had spent nearly one year planning the heist. They further said that the mastermind, Altaf Shaikh had executed the heist after getting inspired by the Spanish heist crime drama web series Money Heist.

The story of Netflix’s Money Heist centres around a criminal mastermind known as the Professor (lvaro Morte), who devises a complex scheme to carry out the largest heist in recorded history, which is to print billions of euros in the Royal Mint of Spain. The popular five-season web series depicts eight criminals kidnapping hostages and trapping themselves in the Royal Mint of Spain as the criminal genius manipulates the authorities to carry out his ambitious scheme.

According to the police, Altaf Shaikh viewed the internet series around a year ago and decided to loot the bank, where he was working for the last 9 years, to quickly gain a fortune. He gathered all the necessary tools to carry out the robbery.

The police said that Altaf had noticed the AC repair work near the bank’s safe room one day and began plotting from there.

Altaf Shaikh first investigated the security system’s loopholes before gathering the materials needed for the crime.

The heist was executed on July 9 on a bank holiday. Shaikh, at first, disabled the alarm systems and removed all the hard disks of the CCTVs. Once the system was disabled, he executed the heist through the air conditioning duct. He flung the money through the hole in the AC duct onto a tarpaulin tied to the back of the bank building.

“After deactivating the alarm system and sabotaging the CCTV, Shaikh opened the bank vault and transferred the cash to the duct and below to the chute. The incident came to light after the bank realised that the security money was missing, as were the DVR of CCTVs, which prompted its personnel to call the inspection team,” the official said.

He then took the help of his three associates, Qureshi, Ahmed Khan, Anuj Giri and his sister, Niloufer, to move the cash from the bank to a rented place at Taloja in Navi Mumbai. According to the police Shaikh handed over Rs 12 crore to his three accomplices and kept the remaining cash in the rented place at Taloja in Navi Mumbai with his sister Niloufer.

Later, Shaikh informed the bank that the hard disks of the CCTV recordings were stolen and filed a police complaint regarding the missing cash.

After launching a probe into the case, the police apprehended Shaikh’s three aides and recovered Rs 5 crore in cash from their possession. Eventually, two-and-a-half-month later, the mastermind of the heist, Altaf Shaikh, was detained in Pune on the basis of information provided by the three accused.

The police revealed that Altaf Shaikh had spent three months on the run, changing his appearance and hiding his identity with a burqa. Shaikh’s sister Neelofer, who was aware of his whereabouts, stashed some money at her home. According to authorities, she too has been arrested and charged as a co-accused in the case.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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