POLICE HAVE arrested 14 Bangladeshis for their involvementin about a dozen dacoities across the State, including six in Bhopal, and recovered stolen goods like gold and silver jewellery, electronics items and Rs 80,758 in cash. The arrested persons include two women.
‘‘This is definitely a major breakthrough for Bhopal police and the people of Bhopal can now sleep safely,’’ Bhopal DIG Anuradha Shankar Singh told media persons at a press conference at Police Control Room on Tuesday evening.
Bhopal SP Anant Kumar Singh, who led the `Operation Crack’ launched to bust the gang, said that the gang leader, Fatima (30) a resident of Chota Paari under Morulganj police station in Bagerhat district of Bangladesh, and another kingpin Jalal Ali (39), also of the same locality, were arrested by a special team of Bhopal police from New Delhi railway station on October 20.
A major portion of the booty from various robberies was recovered from the duo. Other gang members were arrested from Bhopal, Dewas, New Delhi and Panipat. Fatima was responsible for planning the dacoities while Jalal took care of deploying gang members, distributing the booty amongst the culprits and transacting the looted cash to Bangladesh through hawala.
The Bhopal police team was investigating the dacoities for about the past five months. Strict vigil was being secretly kept on the activities of suspicious persons.
A major breakthrough came on October 13 when Sunil Moolchandani’s mobile phone was recovered from a Bangladeshi suspect in Bhopal. The mobile phone had been stolen during the dacoity at Moolchandani’s house on July 19.
Tracking calls made from and to that mobile, besides sifting through almost 25,000 other mobile calls, the police zeroed in on some phone numbers that were called frequently from Bangladesh.
However, all addresses provided by the mobile users turned out to be fake. Subsequently, the police utilised some advanced techniques with the help of mobile service providers to physically trace the actual destinations from where the mobile phones were being used.
One of the numbers that was being called from almost all mobile phones recovered from the culprits was traced to Fatima’s house in Nandnagari locality of New Delhi. She was finally arrested on October 20.
All culprits are residents of the same locality in Bangladesh. Other members of the gang who have been identified include Mohammad Farooq alias Aslam alias Kala (24), Shaikh Malik alias Chhota (26), Abul Hakum alias Abdul alias Abdul Kakan alias Abdul Mota (32) and Lalima alias Fahima alias Lily (28). Police are trying to find definite identities of the remaining eight gang members.
All accused are seasoned criminals with past records. Many of them had even been arrested in the past and deported to Bangladesh but they managed to infiltrate back into India and resumed their criminal activities here.