The Navi Mumbai police Thursday charged three persons, who had been arrested earlier for robberies, under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). The three accused, all Delhi residents, had been targeting commuters on the Mumbai-Pune highway, police said. They had also robbed the anchor of a regional TV channel.
According to Crime Branch, Unit II, the accused had been on the police list for some time. “Based on technical evidence, we traced one of the accused to Mumbai airport in July where he was waiting to board a flight to Delhi,” said an officer.
The accused, Gurucharan Singh Chahal (40), was caught from the airport on July 24. The other two accused were arrested in August, the police said. “The other two accused have been identified as Ahmed Hasan Islamuddin Shaikh (39) and Gulfam Zahir Hasan (38). They were arrested from their houses in Delhi,” a senior officer said.
While the police have linked them to over seven robberies — as of now in Navi Mumbai and Pune — they are investigating if the accused have more cases lodged against them. “They had robbed a TV anchor and a senior employee of the State Bank of India, among others. Their modus operandi was simple. They used to take a flight from Delhi to Mumbai, pose as passengers and driver in a car and they would either rob people at gunpoint or feed them drugs inducing sleep. Then they would drop the victim at a lonely spot and take off with their belongings,” said the officer.
Police have recovered gold, mobile phones and other stolen items worth close to Rs 10,00,000, including a car that they used.