Nine ‘most-wanted’ ATM lifters, including former Delhi cop, arrested
The Nuh police team arrested nine “most wanted” men, including a suspended Delhi Police assistant sub-inspector, on Thursday and Friday in connection with investigations into over 300 ATM thefts across the country.
Police identified the Delhi Police officer as 50-year-old Aslup Khan who had gone missing in 2016 and was allegedly involved in over 100 such cases in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Police claim Khan was the mastermind of the spate of thefts.
The other suspects were identified by their first names as (all between 25 to 52 years of age) Shaukat, Shahid, Farukh, Shahjid Shorab, Jamshed alias Pittal, Shahid alias Polo, Sher alias Sadar and Sadruddin of Sikharpur village. All were carrying reward of ₹50,000 on their arrest, said police adding that they have recovered uprooted ATM kiosks and ₹10 lakh from them.
Narender Bijarnia, superintendent of police (SP), Nuh, said they had received a tip about Aslup Khan and raided his villages Shikarpur on Thursday and thereafter raided Nagina and Punhana villages on Friday from where they caught the other eight.
“Khan in December 2016 had gone on leave but never returned. He was suspended and his salary withheld. Later, his involvement was discovered in a few ATM thefts. Our investigation revealed he had formed a gang of more than 20 people who were actively involved in thefts and carjacking,” he said.
During interrogation, he allegedly told the police about their involvement in over 300 ATM thefts across eight states. “He stole more than ₹15 crore in the last four years and revealed the modus operandi of his gang,” said Bijarnia.
Khan and his associates used to travel in flights to different states to conduct reconnaissance of targets before uprooting the ATM kiosks. Police said special police teams from Kerala, Delhi, and Haryana were formed to arrest Khan but he managed to evade them each time.
“There are more than 100 gangs operating from Nuh who are actively involved in uprooting ATMs. We have formed teams and are targeting all the proclaimed offenders and have started operation clean up in the district,” said the SP.
After much resistance from residents, the team managed to apprehend suspects while they were resting at their respective homes after allegedly returning from their operations of uprooting ATMs from Uttar Pradesh during lockdown in the last three days.
Delhi Police spokesperson Mandeep Singh Randhawa said, “We have not been informed about any such arrest. The information will be verified as and when it comes and further action would be taken accordingly.”