The Patiala police on Monday claimed to have busted a gang of inter-state robbers with the arrest of six persons and the recovery of luxury vehicles worth Rs 6.25 crore from their possession.
Police seized 53 luxury vehicles, including 14 SUVs (sports utility vehicles), from a gang run from Meerut (Uttar Pradesh).
The kingpin, Suhaib Saboodin alias Kabir, a native of Meerut, had a strong network in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi and West Bengal and had been active in these states for the past four years, police said.
Inspector general of police (IGP) Paramjeet Singh Gill said the main accused lifted luxury vehicles on demand.
“The accused used to purchase the scrap of discarded vehicles and then change the chassis number and number plates of stolen vehicles with those of the discarded ones,” Gill said.
He added that after getting the order from the kingpin, the gang members used to divide themselves into four wings. One team used to lift or take away vehicles and then hand these over to another team, which changed the chassis numbers of stolen vehicles. The third team transported the vehicles and delivered the same to the main accused, who later sold these in the market.
Gill said police had information that the vehicles lifted and stolen from different states were plying on roads with proper documents.
“We have arrested six persons from Punjab, UP and Delhi. Around 53 vehicles, including Fortuner, Innova and Verna, have been recovered from these accused. The equipment used in stealing vehicles and tampering with chassis and engine numbers has also been seized,” he said.
Police have arrested Saboodin; Mohammad Shahzad, a native of New Delhi; Harinder Grewal and Harbinder Singh Happy of Patiala; Azharuddin and Furkan Quresh of Meerut.
Gill informed that Harbinder had travelled to Australia and the US to learn new techniques of the illegal trade.
“More than 57 criminal cases have been registered against the accused in different states. This is the first time that they have been arrested,” Gill said.
Other gang members have been identified as Hazigulla, a native of Meerut; Raju, Tushar Khanna and Ranjit Singh, all residents of Delhi; Jameel of Bengaluru; Wasim of Jharkhand; Hanish Thakur of Dera Bassi; and Harpreet Singh of Patiala. They are yet to be arrested.