The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested five members of a gang over their involvement in a carjacking scheme.
The arrestees, Azim Uddin, 38, Rafique Ullah, 26, Md Selim, 50, Kamrul Hasan, 26, and Omar Faruque, 25, were taken to the RAB Media Centre in Kawran Bazar on Saturday, a day after their apprehension in Narayanganj’s Fatullah.
Three pickup vans, a CNG autorickshaw, a pistol, bullets, three machetes and an axe have been recovered from their possession, according to the RAB.
“A RAB team launched an operation to extract information about the syndicate after nabbing some other members of the gang from the capital’s Darus Salam area. The five of them were arrested following an investigation,” said Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director of elite force’s media wing.
“At least 15 to 20 people are involved with the gang, led by Azim Uddin.”
During preliminary interrogation, the arrestees admitted that they had hijacked and stolen over 100 vehicles from various parts of the country over the last five years, RAB said.
The gang is active mainly in areas around Savar and Gazipur, including the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway, reports bdnews24.com.
The members of the gang are implicated in several cases filed in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Narsingdi, Cumilla and Gazipur, the elite force said.
HOW THEY OPERATED
The carjackers divided themselves up into several groups and carried out the crimes, RAB said at the briefing.
“The members of the first group gather information about vehicles, drivers and owners. The second group robs or steals vehicles based on that information.”
Sometimes, they lured the drivers of the vehicles into helping them set up the plot. Trained drivers and mechanics helped them unlock the vehicles, or swiftly remove them from the crime scene.
In some cases, they rented cars and used anaesthetics to knock drivers unconscious before stealing their mobiles phones and vehicles.
A third group hid the stolen cars at different locations in Dhaka and Narayanganj. They would later demand ransom after contacting owners over the phone.
While some of the owners got their vehicles back after paying the ransom, others were not so fortunate.
NEW PAINT JOB FOR STOLEN VEHICLES
A fourth team would send the stolen cars to different workshops where the vehicles would be repainted. Parts and components from the cars would then be sold in the markets.
Another group helped changed the number plates and make fake documents of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC).
“The demand for those stolen cars is high due to their low prices. These vehicles are also used to transport drugs,” Al Moin said.