Eight persons were arrested after the Mankhurd police unearthed a racket involving stolen iron rods worth Rs. 3 lakh at Vashi octroi naka on Friday night.
Based on a tip-off, the police caught six people negotiating the price of the iron rods with drivers and they led the police to the main accused — Sher Mohammad Hasan Khan, 44. Khan has been arrested twice earlier for the same offence.
Deepak Gupta, the owner of the godown in Reay Road where the stolen rods were kept for resale, was also arrested.
Truck drivers and scrap dealers were also reportedly part of the racket, which involved the resale of iron rods stolen from trucks coming to the city from outside.
S Rajput, senior inspector of Mankhurd police station, said the racket operated at Vashi octroi naka where there were long queues of trucks carrying iron rods.
The gang members would go to the drivers of these stationary trucks offering to buy few of the rods at half the price, said Rajput.
According to him, the racket operated successfully because no one at the construction site noticed if three or four rods were missing from a truck, as there was no counting done. The drivers and cleaners, who were part of the racket, would end up making a few thousands themselves as well.
While in isolation the numbers of rods stolen each time does not appear to be worth a big amount, Rajput says the racket managed to collect rods worth a substantial Rs3 lakh. Sources claim that the truck drivers were part of the racket, but the police are still investigating their role.