ARCs have been hugely inefficient in clearing up bad debts of the banking system. Picture: Stacks of Indian currency.Reuters

The Delhi police on Friday morning arrested the driver of Axis Bank's cash transit van who allegedly fled with around Rs 22.50 crore on Thursday in the biggest cash heist in New Delhi.

The driver, identified as Pradeep Shukla, was arrested from a godown in Delhi's Okhla area in the wee hours of Friday. The police recovered all the stolen cash, except for Rs 11,000 from the godown.

"The driver has been arrested in the wee hours today from a godown in Okhla area where he was hiding. So far, he has turned out to be the only accused in the case," a police official said.

"The stolen cash has also been recovered but the final evaluation is yet to be done," he added.

The incident took place near Govindpuri Metro station in Delhi on Thursday evening when the armed guard of the cash transit van asked the driver, Shukla, to stop the vehicle so that he can relieve himslef. Shukla told the guard that he will park the van in a nearby lane, but fled with the money.

The guard, Vinay Patel, informed Axis Bank's Vikaspuri branch manager who then contacted the police. The branch officials informed the police that Shukla's van (DL 1LK 9189) was carrying around Rs 22.5 crore.

The Security and Intelligence Services had sent a total of Rs 38 crore in four transit vans, including the one driven by Shukla, to deliver the cash at various ATMs of Axis Bank in Delhi.

"The incident happened on Thursday after the two left the Vikaspuri Axis Bank branch in west Delhi to ATMs in Okhla, which was their next destination to deliver the cash. Midway, the gunman asked the driver to stop as he wanted to attend to nature's call," IANS quoted a police officer as saying on Thursday night.

The police said Shukla fled from the spot and put all the money in a godown in Okhla area. Then he came back to Govindpuri Metro Station, abandoned the van and went back to the godown in Okhla.

Policemen from two subdivisions of Delhi Police's southeast district and a specialised crime team were put on the job to trace the van and arrest the accused. Shukla was sleeping in the godown when the police arrested him.

The police said that this was the biggest cash heist in Delhi so far.

In 2014, a businessman was robbed of Rs 7.69 crore at the BRT corridor near Moolchand flyover, The Times of India reported.

(With inputs from IANS)