Delhi Police crime branch on Saturday busted a gang involved in selling stolen cars after replacing their chassis and engine numbers with that of damaged vehicles purchased as scrap they bout from insurance companies.
The gang mostly stole luxury vehicles in Delhi and NCR areas, police said.
Two members of the gang — namely, Maninder Singh, 23, and Sukhdev Singh alias Rajan, 34, both hailing from Punjab —were arrested earlier this month, and 20 luxury cars including Fortuner, Innova, Duster, Verna, i20 and Swift were seized from them. Police claim to have solved 20 cases of vehicle thefts with their arrest.
Praveer Ranjan, joint commissioner of police (crime branch), said a team comprising ACP Sanjay Sehrawat and inspector Neeraj Chaudhary after several cases were reported.
“Sukhdev Singh and Maninder Singh purchased stolen cars from auto-lifters in Delhi. To evade their detection while taking stolen cars to Punjab, the two used to replace their registration numbers with that of scrapped cars whose documents were available,” said Ranjan.
Ranjan said that on March 3, their team received information that Sukhdev and Maninder had come to Delhi to purchase a stolen Verna car, whose registration number would be replaced with one identical of a number from Punjab. Crime Branch team nabbed Maninder near Panipat toll plaza on March 4. Sukhdev managed to escape, but was arrested on March 6 from Punjab following cues given by Maninder.
During interrogation, the two revealed that they were receivers of stolen cars and had purchased the Verna car from Sonu, a notorious carjacker from Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut. They disclosed that through their links in insurance companies in Amritsar, Punjab, they used to procure documents of cars scrapped due to accidents or them being in total loss.
“The two then conveyed the details to Sonu, who would steal cars of similar make and brands and inform them after his job was done. After receiving the stolen car, the duo replaced the registration numbers with that of scrapped vehicles. They also tampered with the engine and chassis numbers to avoid getting caught,” said Ranjan.
The stolen cars used to be sold off then in open market using original documents of the damaged cars. The duo purchased documents of damaged vehicles from Gurdeep Singh aka Kake, resident of Sirsa in Haryana. Jagmohan, Ravi and Lakhbir, all from Punjab, were their clients, who purchased stolen vehicles.
“Through this modus operandi, the gang has sold over 100 stolen cars in last one year. Efforts are on to arrest Sonu, Kake, Jagmohan, Ravi and Lakhbir,” said an investigator.