The Detective Branch (DB) of Police arrested 19 alleged robbers and confiscated vehicles and firearms in raids at different parts of the capital early yesterday.
The law enforcers seized a Mercedes Benz and three other cars, three CNG-run auto-rickshaws, and six motorcycles. Three firearms, six bullets and a machete were recovered from them. Several police uniforms were also found, suggesting that the groups used to mug people in the guise of police.
DB officials claimed that they came to know that around 70-80 such criminals were active in the capital, and its suburbs, working in different groups and sub-groups.
The DB members combed Mirpur, Sutrapur, Jatrabari and other areas for six hours to track down ring members.
Six robbers – Kamrul Khan, 45, Awlad, 28, Koti Miah, 30, Md Shamim, 34, Shitol Ali, 42, and Jasim Fakir, 24, were arrested as they took position in front of the National Stadium’s gate at Mirpur with a private car, a motorcycle, two CNG-run auto-rickshaws, a fire arm and some lethal weapons at around 7pm on Monday, DB Deputy Commissioner Mollah Nazrul Islam told a press briefing yesterday.
Police claim that the four lead gangs in different city parts. Though, they work in separate gangs, they are interconnected and even exchange “expert” members when needed, he added.
Kamrul is accused of the murder of sub-inspector Mizan of the Gulshan police.
Following the arrest, the four informed police that another gang led by Jasim, 28, was active in the Shanir Akhra area. A DB team rushed to Shanir Akhra and arrested the gang in the act.
In the drive at around 9pm, apart from Jasim, police arrested Selim, 34, Monir, 30, Md Shakil, 24, Ataur Rahman, 22, Monir, 26, and Abdul Karim, 28, with two motorbikes and a CNG-run auto-rickshaw.
According to information extracted from the arrestees, the detectives led separate drives in Sadarghat launch terminal area early yesterday, and arrested six members of a robbers’ gang. They are ring leader Manik, 27, and members Khairul Ahmed, 37, Afzal, 28, Yunus, 32, Anwar Hossain, 26, and Shipul Miah, 30.
Detectives recovered a Mercedes Benz, three motorbikes and two firearms from them. The law enforcers claimed that the gang had been involved in robbery, mugging and snatching cars in Demra, Jatrabari, Sadarghat, Bhasantek, Gazipur and Savar area for years.
DC Nazrul said: “Manik started his profession seven years back as a car driver. Then he came into contact with a gang engaged in the theft of automobiles. As far as we know, his gang has stolen 400 vehicles. A syndicate which sells stolen vehicles bought these cars at a low price.
“The CNG-run auto-rickshaws are sold in the districts. So, it becomes difficult to trace and recover them.”
The arrestees, in preliminary interrogation, admitted that in some contexts, they return the stolen vehicles to the owners in exchange for money.
“They demand Tk100,000-200,000 for an auto-rickshaw and Tk50,000-60,000 for a motorcycle from the owner. But they do not ransom private cars back to the owners,” the official said.