The MRA Marg police on Thursday arrested a 40-year-old man for operating a gang of robbers comprising street urchins.
Suresh Pawar was arrested for allegedly operating the gang, which targeted foreign tourists over the last year. Pawar has 22 cases registered against him.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) Brijesh Singh said they also arrested two Grant Road-based foreign exchange dealers where Pawar used to convert his loot into local currency. The police have recovered about Rs 94,799 (all in foreign currency) from the dealers, who have been arrested on charges of buying stolen property.
Pawar’s modus operandi was to send children aged 10 to 12 years to popular tourist spots. Two children would beg from the targeted tourist, clutch their feet and keeping them occupied.
The two other children would steal the tourist’s wallet. The children would then hand over the booty to Suresh, who waited nearby.
“We suspect several boys are in his gang,” Singh said. The children are yet to be traced.
Sources in the MRA Marg police station said that even Suresh's father was running a similar gang.
“What can I do? The villagers keep sending children to me. How will I survive?” Pawar told HT.