Bank heist kingpin held with four aides

The kingpin of a gang of bank robbers, active in Ranchi and Khunti, was nabbed along with four of his accomplices in the state capital late on Monday.

By Our Correspondent in Ranchi
  • Published 12.09.18
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Ranchi SSP Anish Gupta (left) at the news meet in Ranchi on Tuesday. 
Picture by Prashant Mitra

Ranchi: The kingpin of a gang of bank robbers, active in Ranchi and Khunti, was nabbed along with four of his accomplices in the state capital late on Monday.

Two automatic pistols, three countrymade single-shot guns with seven rounds of ammunition, five cellphones and Rs 1.36 lakh in cash, taken from the Bukru branch of Punjab National Bank in Kanke, Ranchi, on August 23, have been found on Ranjeet Tirkey (40), who is named in as many as 16 cases of loot, and his men. Two bikes have also been seized.

Ranchi SSP Anish Gupta, addressing reporters at the district collectorate in Kutchery on Tuesday evening, said Tirkey was a resident of Tungritoli in Ratu.

His aides have been identified as Chunda Khalkho (27) of Bhitha Mohalla in Ratu (Ranchi), Raj Kumar Munda (30) of Sosaikot Toli in Burmu (Ranchi), Lal Munda (22) of Bhadani Nagar in Ramgarhdistrict and Ramesh Munda (29) of Heering in Burmu.

"Around 10.15pm, we received information that an armed gang had assembled near a dhaba at Patratoli along Ring Road and was planning something big. A 16-member police team, led by DSP (headquarters) Vijay Kumar Singh, was rushed to the spot. The robbers were caught unawares. They tried to escape, but were nabbed," the SSP said.

Listing the number of heists that Tirkey pulled off in the past 14 years, the senior officer said the gang had targeted an LIC office in Khunti in 2004, the Namkum post office a year later, the Indian Overseas Bank in Khunti in 2006, the Irba branch of Bank of Baroda in Ranchi in 2007, Gramin Bank at Kathal More (Ranchi) in 2014 and the Indian Overseas Bank in Tatilsilwai (Ranchi) in 2016.

"Apart from these, the gang was involved in many other cases, including the recent Rs 4.29-lakh heist at PNB, Bukru. A part of the amount has been recovered. We will seek Tirkey's remand and interrogate him," the SSP said.

The quintet were produced in court on Tuesday and sent to Birsa Munda Central Jail in Hotwar for 14 days.