In a major breakthrough, the Tarn Taran police on Wednesday arrested two members of a 15-member gang of notorious vehicle-lifters during a checking drive at Khara Bridge on GT Road, Tarn Taran.
The gang targeted vehicles laden with basmati rice, besides stealing cattle, tractor engines and water motors.
The police recovered 1 kg heroin worth Rs 5 crore in the international market, two .12 bore pistols and three rounds, two trucks, canter, 75 sacks of paddy and Rs 2.45 lakh from possession of the accused.
The accused were identified as Balwinder Singh alias Sunny, and Bhupinder Singh, both residents of Muktsar.
A case under Sections 21, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act and 25, 54 and 59, Arms Act, has been registered against them at Sarhali police station.
SSP Tarn Taran Rajjit Singh told HT, “Amarjit Singh, a gang member, was arrested on November 5 and a stolen vehicle was recovered from his possession.”
Briefing on their modus operandi, he said, “The accused are part of a 15-member gang of notorious vehicle-lifters, who snatched trucks loaded with basmati rice, besides stealing cattle, tractor engines and water motors.”
“The accused used to carry arms. After snatching vehicles, innocent drivers were thrown on the road at deserted stretches,” added the SSP.
He further said that though many gang members hailed from Muktsar, they were operating in Amritsar, Jalandhar and Ludhiana.
“The accused confessed to have stolen 11 trucks of paddy from Tarn Taran, Moga, Majitha and Batala, besides 250 cattle and a large number of water motors and tractor engines. Nearly 40 cases are registered against them in various districts of Punjab and Himachal,” said the SSP. He said teams had been dispatched to arrest other members of the gang.