Man who robbed passengers after sedating them held from Sector 9Updated: Oct 26, 2020, 23:22 IST
The police on Sunday arrested a 30-year-old man from Sector 9 for his alleged involvement in robbing people by offering them shared cab rides from Gurugram to Jaipur and later giving them cold drinks laced with sedatives.
Three of his fellow gang members have been identified but are yet to be arrested, said the police on Monday. The police said the gang used to steal cabs for robbing commuters. They also used to board e-rickshaws and rob the driver and passengers by offering them sedative-laced cold drinks.
The police said that they received complaints this year about two incidents — first, the gang robbing an e-rickshaw driver and stealing the vehicle, and second, the gang robbing a Jaipur-based commuter. The gang usually befriended single passengers looking for cabs from Rajeev Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk for their travel to Jaipur, the police said.
In one case, on May 7, two men boarded an e-rickshaw near Shishpal Vihar near Sohna Road and asked the driver to drop them near Ghata village and agreed to pay ₹350. After driving for a kilometre, one of the gang members offered the driver a cold drink. Although, he initially refused, he later agreed upon insistence.
“I sipped only three sips from a cold drink glass, which the two men had offered, and half an hour later, I felt dizzy and fell unconscious near Arcadia Market in South City 2. I found myself lying in a hospital bed the next day,” recalled Mehrab Ali, a resident of Gangarampur in West Bengal, who lived in a rented room in Sector 50. He said had lost all his belongings worth ₹5,000. The doctors treating Ali, however, could not find any trace of the sedative.
The police said Ali had taken an e-rickshaw on rent from a private company and used to ferry passengers from Sohna Road to a mall in Sector 50.
In the other incident in June this year, Jaipur resident Anil Kumar was returning from Delhi when he boarded a cab from Rajiv Chowk, in which two passengers were already seated. As the journey began, one of the suspects asked the driver to stop the cab and got down to buy a cold drink and offered the same to all three. Minutes after he took a few sips, Kumar fell unconscious. The gang fled with ₹1 lakh cash, a gold chain, a gold bracelet, and his mobile phone. He was thrown out of cab on an isolated stretch close to expressway. In his complaint with Kherki Daula police station, Kumar gave a detailed description of the suspects.
The police started an investigation and during the probe, they found that the description matched a suspect arrested last year in lift-and-loot case. Police traced the suspect identified as Saddakul-Islam of village Malihar in West Bengal and kept a close watch on him and on Sunday questioned him following which he revealed that how he along with his close aides used to target passengers and robbed them.
Preet Pal Sangwan, assistant commissioner of police (crime), said that there are 50 similar cases reported between May and September. We are suspecting the involvement of this same gang posing as cab drivers and passengers. “Two of the cases in May and June this year — one in Kherki Daula and the other under the jurisdiction of Sector 50 police station — have been identified by the police and the suspect has confessed to these incidents. Another robbery in Sector 50 was also committed by this gang,” he said.
The police said cases have been registered under sections 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc, with intent to commit an offence) and 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code.
KK Rao, commissioner of police, said “There is a rise in the number of cases of unsuspecting commuters being drugged by fellow passengers. The suspects source the sedatives from a local chemist in Jaipur, who should not be selling drugs without prescriptions. “It is actually difficult to buy these drugs without the proper prescription. But they source the drugs through their known chemist,” he said.