The Delhi Police arrested five members of an inter-state car theft racket who have allegedly been involved in the theft of more than 500 vehicles. The arrested persons have been identified as Kharkha Bahadur Rana (54),the kingpin,Mohammad Arkan (40),Arman (22),Shekhar Singh(29),and Muzaffar(40). Ten stolen vehicles and other paraphernalia such as forged documents used for transport of these vehicles to the Northeast have been recovered from their possession. Also,84 other stolen cars have been traced to Mizoram.
Police officials said Kharkha Bahadur Rana was a retired sepoy of the Indian Army and initially used to drive the stolen vehicles to the Northeast wearing his Army uniform to avoid detection. Later,he got others to do this job for him.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police(Crime) PS Kushwah said,This was an extremely well organised gang. So much so that as soon as one of them was apprehended the rest of them would go underground. Some of them had been involved in this illegal business for close to ten years now. They used specially made tools such as drills to break the lock on cars. The vehicles were then driven to Meerut and handed over to an associate. Some vehicles were handed over to Shekhar and he sold them as genuine second-hand cars in Delhi. The chassis and registration numbers of the rest of the vehicles were changed and sent to the Northeast where receivers took custody of the cars. Fake registrations for the cars was done in Assam and West Bengal before the cars were eventually sold in Mizoram and other Northeastern states.
Officials said that the first break in the case came when Arman was arrested on September 26 while he was traveling on a stolen motorcycle. After interrogation,he revealed the names and roles of others involved in the racket. Kharkha Bahadur,the mastermind,was eventually nabbed in Guwahati on December 15,and Mohammad Arkan was arrested in Siliguri on December 19. We had sent special teams there for the purpose, Khushwah said.
Officials said several other such modules of auto lifters have been identified and the process of identifying the stolen vehicles is underway.