Nashik arms haul: Mumbai police finally check CCTV footage to trace person who stole SUV

The Mumbai-bound vehicle was used to carry arms and ammunition from Uttar Pradesh

mumbai Updated: Dec 16, 2017 23:33 IST
Manish Pathak
Manish Pathak
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Nashik,arms haul
Police inspect weapons in a Uttar Pradesh shop from where arms were looted.

The Mumbai police are checking footage of CCTV cameras installed in Oshiwara and on the Western Express Highway to find out who stole the Bolero from Lashkariya Tower in Amboli on December 5.

At the time, the Amboli police refused to file a first information report (FIR) after the vehicle owners complained about the theft on December 6.

The three men who were arrested on Friday used the Bolero to smuggle arms and ammunition in Mumbai. The police are yet to find out the motive behind smuggling of 25 rifles, 17 revolvers, two country-made pistols and 4,146 live cartridges.

Apart from the three arrested men, there were two more in the vehicle while travelling from Uttar Pradesh to Nashik. The two men got off before the police seized the vehicle. The police suspected that one of the two men took a train to Mumbai

Meanwhile, two police teams from Nahsik have arrived in Mumbai in search of a middleman who allegedly hatched the conspiracy to loot arms and bring the consignment to the city. Senior officers from the Mumbai crime branch said they had alerted their informants to locate the mastermind in the case. A senior officer attached to special task force in Uttar Pradesh said seven people participated in the robbery. They believe that some of them, who were from Uttar Pradesh, stayed behind after the robbery. These people had conducted a recce before the robbery.

Robbers offered ₹10,000 in bribe

Before being arrested for carrying a large cache of arms in an SUV, two arrested men had offered to pay Rs10,000 in bribe to the Nashik Rural police, who intercepted them near Chandwad toll naka on Agra-Mumbai highway on Thursday.

The police have arrested three men: Nagesh Bansode, 23, a resident of Nashik; Salman Ammanulla Khan, 19, a resident of Wadala; and Badrudin Juman Badshah alias Sumit alias Suka, 27, a resident of Sewri. They alleged to have looted arms and ammunition from a shop in Banda district of Uttar Pradesh.

According to an officer, the men tried to give Rs1,000 in unpaid fuel charges and Rs10,000 as a bribe to the police at the naka. The Bolero would have reached Mumbai unnoticed, had the men paid Rs1,000 for fuel to a petrol pump near Malegaon.

The Bolero stopped at a petrol pump near Malegaon for refuelling at 7.15pm on Thursday. The occupants left the place without paying. “They did not threaten the owner. At the time there were four men in the vehicle,” said Ashok Karpe, senior inspector of the local crime branch (Nashik Rural). Minutes later, the petrol pump owner alerted the police. Assuming that the occupants were robbers, the Malegaon police called up the Nashik control room that shared the details of the Mumbai-bound vehicle with the Chandvad police.

When the accused entered the queue at the toll naka at 7.40pm “one police car blocked them from behind, while an anti-dacoity squad vehicle was ahead of them”, said Karpe.

Two of the accused offered Rs10,000 in bribe to the police, saying that they were drunk and had just forgotten to pay for fuel.

Officers recovered a pistol from Badshah. The driver, however, maintained that he had just given a lift to the two men from Malegaon. At the time, the police believed that the three men were highway robbers. At Chandvad police station, they found arms in the SUV.

First Published: Dec 16, 2017 23:33 IST