Detectives have arrested five members of a gang of car thieves who sell stolen cars through classified advertisements posted on various online marketplaces and dailies.
Sources from the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said after stealing cars, the gang would change the colour, chassis number and number plate, produce fake registration documents and put a classified advert up on the internet and dailies.
On Monday, detectives nabbed gang leader Iqbal Hossain alias Kamal alias Rana alias Tamim, Md Javed and Moshrekin Ahammed Rabbi alias Juboraj in separate drives in the capital’s Basundhara Residential Area and the Eastern Plaza shopping mall.
Later, based on the information given by them in interrogation, police recovered a Toyota Allion from Mirpur and a Toyota F Premio from the Banglamotor Link Road in the capital and arrested two other members of the gang named Ali Hossain and Md Mohsin.
Detectives have also seized fake fitness and registration papers to go with fake chassis numbers from their possession.
Earlier, two cases were filed in connection with the stealing of the two cars – one with the Gulshan police station for the Allion and the other with the Tejgaon industrial area police station for the F Premio.
The arrested members of the gang had already been produced before a court and subsequently placed on remand. Police said there could be two to three more members in the gang whom they are trying to round up.
Raiding Mohsin’s house, they have recovered hundreds of counterfeit documents including BRTA registration forms, fitness certificate forms, tax payment certificate forms, money receipts, pay orders various government and private commercial banks, and stamps in the names of BRTA, insurance companies and police officials.
They used these fake documents to deceive customers, who came to check out the cars after seeing the classified advertisements in the online marketplaces and newspapers.
DB officials said Iqbal and Moshrekin had been arrested many times in connection with car thefts but every time they had secured bails. Apart from nine car theft cases, Iqbal is also wanted in a murder case in Mymensingh. Moshrekin is accused in four car theft and fraud cases.
DB Deputy Commissioner Krishna Pada Roy, who led the drives, advised people to be careful in buying cars from online advertisements.
He told the Dhaka Tribune: “Gang leader Iqbal had his own technique. He would first develop a good friendship with drivers and steal their cars by deceiving them.”