The robbery, one of the biggest in the national capital in terms of money involved, was carried out in a matter of minutes. (Agencies)
Police said around five to six armed men intercepted a Honda City car near Lajpat Nagar Metro station around 9 AM and fled with the vehicle and Rs 7.69 crore cash.
The incident took place at 9:00 AM, when Rakesh Kumar, manager of a Gurgaon-based businessman-cum-financer Rahul Ahuja, was going to Karol Bagh along with three employees, identified as driver Subodh, Rajesh and Baijnath.
Ahuja is the business partner of Rakesh Kalra, a property dealer. Kumar and the other were travelling in Kalra's car. Kumar told police that they collected cash from Kalkaji and Greater Kailash to deposit it in two separate bank accounts in Karol Bagh.
There was some initial confusion on who were the occupants with the police stating that Kalra was in the Honda City.
Their car was being tailed by company's three other employees identified as Sandi, his brother Bandi and gunman, Brijesh in an I-20 car. However, this car was held up at a traffic signal.
When the Honda City reached near Lajpat Nagar Metro Station, a silver Wagon R, bearing UP registration number, overtook them and suddenly stopped right in front of it causing a collision.
Occupants of both the cars came out and a heated argument ensued. In the midst of the altercation, a white Hyundai Verna, bearing Haryana registration number reached the spot.
Around three to four persons alighted from the car and trained their guns at Kumar and his associates, police said.
The robbers then fled from the scene in the Honda City which had Rs 7.69 crore cash in two bags while the Hyundai Verna followed it. The robbers left their silver Wagon R at the spot, which later turned out to be a stolen vehicle.
Kumar made a call from his mobile phone to the police around 9.38 AM saying five to six people stole a brown colour Honda City car and fled towards upmarket Moolchand in south Delhi.
Twenty minutes later, another call was made using a diffrent cell phone that the car had sped towards Pragati Maidan, a few kilometers from Moolchand.
The Hyundai Verna was also found abandoned around a kilometer away from the crime scene in Jungpura area an hour after the incident.
Several hours later, police found the Honda City near Sewa Nagar railway crossing close to Barapullah Flyover, not very far from the crime scene, with two empty bags.
Forensic teams lifted finger prints and other evidence from the vehicles. Police also rounded up local criminals as part of the investigation.
Till late in the night, no arrests have been made, police said.
According to the police, stolen cars were used by the criminals to commit the heist.
The Wagon R car belonged to a businessman in Ghaziabad, which was stolen on January 24. An FIR in this regard was filed at Jahangirpuri area of West Delhi. The Verna was registered in the name of a woman.
Sources said that police are questioning Kumar and his associates about the sequence of events and also about the source of such a huge amount of cash. Police have not ruled out possibility of a hawala transaction in the case.
"A case of robbery has been registered under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Lajpat Nagar police station and we are investigating the case from all possible angles," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (south-east) P Karunakaran.
Several teams, including those of the Crime Branch and Special Cell have been deployed to crack the case.
Police are checking the CCTV footage of the area to identify the culprits.
Investigators said that it seems "some insider" could be hand in glove with the robbers as they knew that a large amount of cash was being transported by Kumar.
Police said the robbers had done meticulous planning before carrying out the robbery.
In 2012, a similar daylight robbery had taken place in the upmarket Defence colony area, which is close to the spot where the robbers struck.
Criminals had then decamped with Rs 5.25 crore cash from a cash replenishment agency van after killing one of its security guards in daylight ambush.
The robbery, one of the biggest in the national capital in terms of money involved, was carried out in a matter of minutes.