The arrest of 11 members of a gang of muggers in disguise of DB (detective branch) police is an indication of the rising incidence of this particular type of crime. Nabbed from different areas of Dhaka and Tongi under Gazipur, the muggers reportedly confessed that they mugged people in almost all areas of the city. One thing, however, they took into consideration is the damaged segment of a road where vehicles get slowed down. They were not used to, like ordinary muggers, surprising their targets by sudden attacks on empty roads or use balm to leave people unconscious before robbing people. Rather, their main ploy was to impersonate the DB police with some look-alike accessories to demonstrate during their so-called drive. They used to beckon a particular vehicle to stop in the name of inspection and guided it to a street corner or a side street before taking away all the valuables from the victims.
Unfortunately, impersonation of law-enforcement agencies is not limited only to the DB police. Weeks before, a TV channel showed how a fake team of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) stopped a bus and forced a man to get down before whisking him away in a microbus. The channel reported that such impersonating gangs are active more than ever before. Such impersonation of law enforcers and even defence officers was detected in the past but during the coronavirus-driven economic downturn, more impostors seem to have been on the prowl in order to make unsuspecting people their victims for unearned financial gains. Muggers in disguise of RAB are crafty as well as ruthless. They use their victims for ransoms and are reported even to kill when their demand is unmet.
Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international organisations find that the pandemic has acted as a deciding factor for dropping crimes the world over, in this country and other poor countries the same may not be true. At least, newspapers and TV channels here are carrying reports of unabated crimes. But the daredevilry as demonstrated by the impersonating gangs -much as it may be out of desperation -- is perhaps an outcome of infamous criminal trait some people here are heir to. In the past also muggers operated here in different disguises but usually they did not kill their victims. Now those called malam (balm) parties even do not hesitate to commit homicide.
Criminal minds look for novel ways of committing crimes so that they can go on without getting caught or detected. Some are known for gifted dark geniuses in this regard. When society cannot control corruption and malpractices involving millions or billions of Takas by people in high offices, people with criminal bends of mind are more likely to feel tempted to look for ways --- means notwithstanding --- to get rich as quickly as possible. Credit goes to the law-enforcement agencies for successfully pursuing some of the muggers and robbers on the prowl in the capital city, other cities and elsewhere. But not all can be snared in their nets. If good governance can do away with official corruption and socio-economic justice can be dispensed with, crimes are sure to drop drastically.