The five accused persons in the Rs 5.78 crore train heist case were sent to Central Prison in Tamil Nadu capital Chennai on Monday after their police custody came to an end, police said.
According to police, the alleged robbers were not able to spend the stolen cash, as within three months of the robbery, demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes happened.
In a statement issued in Chennai the Crime Branch Crime Investigation Department (CBCID) said the five accused -- H Mohar Singh, Rusi Pardi, Mahesh Pardi, Kaliya alias Krishna alias Kabu and Biltya -- were arrested in Madhya Pradesh in connection with stealing Rs 5.78 crore from the Salem-Chennai Egmore Express in 2016.
According to police, Singh and his gang members came to Tamil Nadu in 2016 and stayed in various places but near railway stations/train tracks, under the over bridges and other places.
During his stay, Singh came to know about the movement of cash in Salem-Chennai train route through one of his gang members who was staying in Salem.
Singh, along with few of his associates including Kaliya, Rusy, Biltiya conducted reconnaissance on this train route by travelling between Ayothiapattinam and Virudhachalam Railway Stations repeatedly for more than a week, police said.
According to the statement, the gang decided to operate between Chinnasalem and Virudhachalam railway stations since the train was running for more than 45 minutes without any halt in between in this stretch.
As per the plan, Singh and four other associates got on to the train in Chinnasalem when it was about to move taking advantage of the darkness.
The police said the gang climbed on to the parcel van's roof and cut a hole using battery operated and manual cutters.
"Two of them entered inside the parcel van through the hole, broke open the wooden boxes, took cash bundles, wrapped them in six lungis and tied them," the statement said.
As per the plan, the other members of the gang including Mahesh Pardi were waiting at the trackside at Vayalur overbridge near Virudhachalam Railway station.
The members of the gang atop of the moving train threw the cash packed in lungis towards those waiting on the ground and jumped down and escaped.
According to police, the looted cash was shared among the gang members but much of the cash became useless owing to demonetisation of 500/1,000 rupee notes in 2016, within three months of the robbery.
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