A spat over shift timings allegedly led a disgruntled ex-employee of Checkmate Services Private Limited to plan the heist at the Thane-based company earlier this week.

Thane CP Parambir Singh with the recovered booty. Pic/Sameer Markhande
Thane CP Parambir Singh with the recovered booty. Pic/Sameer Markhande

Thane Commissioner of Police Parambir Singh said Akash Chavan alias Chinkya (22), left his job at the company in February this year after he requested that he be given the morning shift so as to allow him to spend quality time with his girlfriend, who had similar timings. When his supervisor refused, he quit his job and decided to "teach his company a lesson", said an officer from the Thane crime branch.

What unravelled after that was one of the smoothest heists in recent times. The police also revealed that it took the robbers three attempts to execute their Rs 9.16-crore heist at Checkmate Services on Tuesday. The police have so far arrested six persons, including current and former employees, and have recovered Rs 4.2 crore of the loot.

"With the help of one Harichandra Mate from Igatpuri in Nashik, we got the address and name of all the accused involved in the crime. Most of them were unknown to each other as different people had arranged different people for the crime. Four persons were brought Mumbai, 10 from Nashik and so on," said Madan Ballal, police Inspector, Wagle Estate crime branch.

Those arrested have been identified as Nitesh Awhad (22) and Mayur Rajendra Kadam (21), residents of Balkum in Thane; Amol Karale (26) and Akash Chavan alias Chinkya, residents of Lokmanya Nagar, Thane; Umesh Suresh Wagh (28) of Nashik and Harichandra Mate (30) from Vadiv in Nashik. Maharashtra DGP Pravin Dixit congratulated the Thane police team and said the firm had not followed RBI guidelines on stocking money.

Current employees and 10 ex-staffers detained in the 48 hours before the police cracked the case.

Splitting the booty
The robbers were to pocket R60 lakh and the drivers had to split Rs 40 lakh aong themselves. Chavan was to get the biggest cut (Rs 1 crore) since he was the mastermind. Around 17 gunny bags - for the 17 perpetrators of the dacoity — were packed in a farmland in Nashik, from where the police recover the money.