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Police bust gang of car thieves

The Mumbai Police Crime Branch has busted a gang of robbers who allegedly hired cars,drugged the drivers and made away with the vehicles.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai |
July 9, 2009 1:55:24 am

The Mumbai Police Crime Branch has busted a gang of robbers who allegedly hired cars,drugged the drivers and made away with the vehicles. In four such cases where the gang was involved,the accused murdered the driver in two cases and injured them in other cases.

The accused have been identified as Bharat Bhanushali (31),Sanjay Tripathi (32),Deepak Dubey (31),Nageshwar Rao alias Uncle (57) and Shabbir Ali (52). While the first two were arrested from Kurla by Crime Branch Unit 5 on June 5,Dubey and Rao were arrested from Ghatkopar and Bangalore on June 18. Ali was arrested from Bangalore on June 27.

According to the police,Bhanushali is alleged to be the mastermind of the racket. He is a resident of Ghatkopar and initially used to work as a diamond cutter but became an autorickshaw driver later. Tripathi was working as a driver with a car rental company and usually drove passengers of a Gulf airline. He also used to work in Bhojpuri movies and serials. Dubey was working as a school bus driver and cleaner in Vidyavihar; while Rao,a native of Bangalore,was a commissioning agent in purchase and sale of vehicles. Ali,also a resident of Bangalore,was a receiver of stolen vehicles.

The accused were involved in four cases of car robberies.

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“At around 9:30 pm on May 4,some men hired a Toyota Innova from Vile Parle,with Narayan Jagtap (22) at the wheel. The car did not return and Jagtap’s body was found at a spot in Lonavala. In another case registered at Bhosari police station on May 14,Nagesh Mali,the driver of an Innova hired from Pune for a trip to Hyderabad,was found seriously injured at Solapur,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria.

“On June 2,driver Shabbir Shaikh was found abandoned and clad only in his underwear at Silvasa. He had been driving a car hired from Surat and headed to Mumbai. A gun had been shoved into his mouth,and a liquid poured down his throat by the men who had hired the car. In another case that took place sometime in late 2008,the driver of a Tavera on hire was found murdered at Kalamboli,” said Maria.

According to the police,the gang had sold each of the four cars at a price of Rs 1.3 lakh. Unit 5 arrested the accused after receiving a tip-off that somebody was on the lookout for buyers for cars.

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