3 ‘cab drivers’ arrested for robbing passengers at gunpoint in Noida

Published on Jan 24, 2023 12:28 AM IST

The three men were arrested after a gunfight in sector 44, following which the police also rescued a 25-year-old man who was being held hostage inside their vehicle. Another man who was the suspects’ accomplice was arrested later

The four accused were arrested by Gautam Budh Nagar police on Sunday night after a gunfight. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)
The four accused were arrested by Gautam Budh Nagar police on Sunday night after a gunfight. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)
By, Noida

The Gautam Budh Nagar arrested three men on Sunday night who used to lure people into their car on the pretext of offering them a lift and then rob them at gunpoint in Noida and Greater Noida.

The three men were arrested after a gunfight in sector 44, following which the police also rescued a 25-year-old man who was being held hostage inside their vehicle.

Rajneesh Verma, assistant commissioner of police-1, Noida, said they received a tip-off about the movement of the suspects after which a team of officers surrounded them on the road from sector 44 to sector 96.

“The suspects were travelling in a Maruti Celerio and fired at our team. Three suspects, Yogendra Prasad, Sonu and Abhi, were injured in retaliatory firing. They were taken to a hospital for treatment and three country-made pistols, live cartridges and 1.55 lakh were recovered from their possession,” said Verma.

When police approached the vehicle, they found Sudhir Kumar (25) being held hostage inside.

“Kumar’s hands and legs were tied and he was blindfolded. The suspects offered him a lift near Advant Tower in sector 142 and said they would drop him in Kalindi Kunj. Then they extorted 1 lakh from him at gunpoint,” said Verma.

Then the suspects went to DLF Mall in Noida and purchased shoes from luxury brands with Kumar’s credit and debit card, said police officers. Then they went to another shop and purchased cigarettes and tobacco worth 15,000, said police officers. However, the suspects did not release Kumar after making their purchases and kept him hostage in their car, said police officers.

The suspects operated mainly near sectors 37 and 44, as well as the Amity University foot over-bridge and the Noida-Greater Noida expressway, where they introduced themselves to people as private cab drivers and picked up passengers, said police officers. They would lure passengers by offering them rides at very cheap rates, said police officers. After every extortion and theft, they would change their car’s number plates. The car that was seized on Sunday night had a white number plate with a Delhi registration number.

“Two of the three men in the car had guns while the third one had a toy gun, which worked as a lighter. When any person entered their car, they would take out the guns and threaten them, tie their hands and blindfold them. They would then take their ATM card, credit card and phone. They then would take out money from ATMs or take loans through online personal loan. The suspects also used the cards at shopping malls,” Verma said.

During interrogation, the suspects said they are fond of lavish lifestyles and work in a group of three. They revealed the name of their accomplice, Arun, who was nabbed later from the same area, said Verma.

According to Ashutosh Dwivedi, additional deputy commissioner of police, Noida, “We had been working to catch these suspects after we received complaints about three similar incidents in the past 10 days in the district.”

Last week, a 34-year-old man said he was held hostage by three men in a car for seven hours and robbed of 1 lakh via online transactions and ATM withdrawals.

“The complainant, Jeganathan Thangaraja, is a resident of Noida’s Sector 45. He said that on January 15, the men drove him around for seven hours in a private car and robbed him of 1 lakh in cash and other online transactions, before pushing him out of the vehicle somewhere in Delhi. In his complaint, he said he was heading to Greater Noida and boarded the car from the sector 37 bus stand,” said Dwivedi.

“Similarly on January 16, we received another complaint from a 24-year-old named Shivam. He entered their car from near Amity University and wanted to go to Greater Noida. The gang pointed a gun at him and tied him up. He was robbed of 78,000. Based on his complaint, a case was registered at the Sector 39 police station,” Dwivedi added.

Dwivedi urged people not to board unknown cars and use proper apps for booking cabs.

“Even if people use local cabs, they should click the picture of the cab and share it and their live location with family members. We urge people to be alert,” Dwivedi said.

The four suspects were booked under sections 392 (robbery) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. “They were produced before court and sent to judicial custody on Sunday,” said Verma.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ashni Dhaor is a correspondent with Hindustan Times. She covers crime, education, health, politics, civic issues and environment in Ghaziabad city. She graduated from Delhi University in 2015 and has since been working with Hindustan Times since.

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