Three kidnappings in two years, but what is it that helped the gang, which was recently caught in the Ghatkopar abduction case, evade arrest for so long? The answer is here: SIM cards from Uttar Pradesh, smart use of technology and almost perfect planning.
Before the Ghatkopar incident, the gang had kidnapped a car dealer from Kurla in 2013 and a three-year-old from Aarey Colony in 2014.
According to the police, before every kidnapping, the gang used to obtain SIM cards from Uttar Pradesh by submitting fake documents. These mobile phone numbers were used exclusively to call the victim’s family.
“The gang made impeccable use of technology. After calling the victim’s relatives, they used to switch off their phones, remove the battery and the SIM card, to ensure their location doesn’t get traced. It was only after a special investigating team was involved that their modus operandi came to
light,” said a crime branch officer, adding the gang got at least 10 SIM cards from Uttar Pradesh before abducting the youth from Ghatkopar.
The main accused, Ajit Apraj, a mechanical engineer, used to instruct his team members to make calls only when they are at least 40km away from the base.
The team used all precautions with regard to the use of technology, but got caught as the Ghatkopar youngster had overheard some of their conversations.
“The 21-year-old told us that the wife of one of the accused had delivered a baby. This led the police to one of the accused, Manish Gangurde, 27, who then provided leads on the other members of the gang,” the officer said.