200 ATM thefts: Gang leader’s close aid arrested after another shoot-outUpdated: May 18, 2020 00:06 IST
A day after police arrested a 40-year-old wanted man, his close aide was also arrested in another shoot-out near Ghasera village in Nuh Saturday night, police said. The two suspects and their gang were involved in more than 200 incidents of ATM thefts, they added.
The suspect arrested on Saturday was identified as Shoukat by the police. The suspect is wanted in eight states and the Haryana and Uttar Pradesh police had announced a reward of ₹50,000 on his arrest.
According to the police, Shoukat is from Shikarpur village in Tauru tehsil. They said his gang had allegedly looted more than ₹14 crore in the last 10 years. The gang members used to uproot ATMs from kiosks and loot the cash, the police added.
Narender Bijarnia, superintendent of police (SP), Nuh, said the police received a tip about the suspect’s movement — that he would be going towards Ghasera village to meet his some of his associates. “The investigation unit, led by inspector Vipin Kumar, laid a trap and intercepted the motorcycle the suspect was riding. Shoukat opened fire on the police team following which our personnel retaliated, and a bullet hit his right leg,” he said.
The suspect was rushed to the civil hospital in Nuh, police said adding that two country-made pistols and two live cartridges were recovered from his possession.
“We had arrested the leader of the gang, identified as Farookh on Friday late night in a shoot-out, but his close aide Shoukat had managed to flee from the spot. He had fled to Tauru and was on his way to meet other gang members when we received a tip on his movement and the police team surrounded him,” Bijarnia said.
Shoukat was wanted in eight states and was declared a proclaimed offender in 2017 by Nuh, Gurugram, and Uttar Pradesh Police.
“Earlier when police used to conduct raids in his village, the villagers would pelt stones on the police teams and have assaulted many police personnel of Gujarat, Nuh, Gurugram, and Uttar Pradesh Police. Shoukat used to hide in his village at a relative’s house, and was not arrested for the last three years,” the SP said.
Police officers said the suspect was involved in more than 200 incidents wherein he along with his associates uprooted ATMs in at least eight states across the country. Bijarnia, said the suspect would get unemployed youngsters in Nuh to join the gang and rope them in for ATM thefts and robberies.
Shaukat had travelled with Farookh to Gujarat, Orissa, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra to conduct ATM thefts, the police said.
According to the police, the suspect was involved in cow smuggling cases before and was arrested at least seven times. After police had started arresting the people involved in smuggling cases, he gave smuggling cows and joined Farookh. He would drive to other states with his gang and steal other vehicles that were used to return to Nuh with the looted cash.
The Nuh police have registered 197 cases in the last two months and have arrested as many as 155 suspects. The police said they arrested 21 most-wanted criminals, 61 proclaimed offenders, and 40 bail-jumper. Over 1,037 vehicles were impounded by the police in the same period.