Police claim to have busted a state-level gang of vehicle thieves with the recovery of 19 cars, on Monday. Five people have been arrested.
"A naka was laid near Sikhanwala village and Chandbaja area under the Kotkapura Sadar police station, following a tip-off. We suspected that cars were being sold on fake registration certificates. We stopped two cars and arrested the occupants," said Faridkot SSP Gurmeet Singh Randhawa.
"On interrogation, the cars were recovered and are valued at around Rs 1.25 crore," added Randhawa.
"The gang mostly stole Indica cars, without sensors, from Chandigarh, Mohali, Jalandhar and Haryana.
The RCs were then forged. A peon and a clerk employed at the contractual basis at the Moga DTO office helped them prepare fake registration certificates. The peon brought out the registration record out of the office and erased previous names and added new names. Thus, anyone verifying the registration certificate of the vehicle was also likely to be fooled," said the SSP.
"Seven more vehicles were stolen, but have been sold and are yet to be traced. This is a state-wide racket of the vehicle lifters."
The arrested have been identified as Malkit Singh and Inderjeet Singh, residents of Chuhar Chack village in Moga, Gurinder Singh, resident of Macchaki Mal Singh village of Farikdot, Amandeep Singh and Swarn Singh, from Ferozepur.
A case has registered at the Sadar Kotkapura police station under Sections 379 (theft), 411 (receiving stolen property), 420 (cheating) 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code.