Bhopal: Trap laid for interstate gang of ATM robbers; arrested

BHOPAL: An interstate gang involved in ATM robberies was busted by the Bhopal police with the arrest of 6 people. The cops had laid a trap for the accused persons as they wanted the gang to be caught red-handed. They were arrested while they were trying to loot yet another ATM in Bhopal on Wednesday night.

So far, the police have estimated their involvement in ATM robberies runs to looted money worth more than Rs 2 crore. However, the police could recover only Rs 15 lakh from their possession.

The gang was involved in over two dozen ATM robberies in different parts of the country, but a joint effort by the Bhopal police and cyber cell landed them in the police dragnet on Wednesday.

After a robbery in Bhopal, they committed another ATM break-in in the Sholapura area of Maharashtra. They were returning from Maharashtra and were trying to rob an ATM at Parwalia on Wenesday night when the cops arrested them.

Additional director general (ADG) Upendra Jain said they had traced them in Maharashtra and a team had been keeping an eye on their movements. The team got to know that they were coming to Bhopal and the Parwalia police station staff was deployed all around as they were about to commit a break-in there.

The Bhopal police were searching for them after they had cut through an ATM in the Eitkhedi area of Bhopal on Diwali night. The police got information that they were in Bhopal and the accused were arrested from Parwalia.

Accused’s confession

The accused told the police that they had been active in robberies for over two years. Also, they would engage in such activities as farming after robberies to avoid any suspicion.

The gang has, so far, confessed their involvement in over two dozen robberies in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

Modus operandi

All the six accused are experts at cutting ATM machines and it hardly took them more than five minutes to break open the cash boxes. They would carry out a recce around ATM kiosks and target the machines after confirmation that there were without sensors. It took these expert gas-cutters hardly 5-10 minutes to cut through any machine and relieve it of cash. They would mostly target ATMs between 3 am and 4 am.

Accused’s identity

The accused were identified as Shamsher, aka Dalser, 40, Sahajaat Khan, 25, Shakir, 40, Aas Mohammad, 34, Maseeullah, 21 and Munshareef Khan, 27. They are all residents of Rajasthan and Haryana.

The police said they avoided committing any thefts in their native state.

Seized items

Besides the car used in the crime, the cops have recovered from their possession several instruments, including:

* A gas-cutter

* A gas cylinder

* An oxygen cylinder

* A pistol and

* Rs 15 lakh

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