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Gang behind robbery of e-commerce firms’ trucks busted in Greater Noida

The gang was allegedly active in several states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, and would rob vehicles by holding their drivers hostage at gunpoint.

Updated: Sep 09, 2018 05:16:20

By Tanmayee Tyagi

Three cars, several pairs of shoes, mobile phones, electronic goods, two countrymade pistols and ₹70,000 in cash were recovered from the accused, along with several tools. (HT Photo)

The Noida branch of Uttar Pradesh’s special task force (STF) nabbed a nine-member gang on Saturday afternoon from the Ecotech 1 area of Greater Noida for allegedly robbing delivery trucks of various e-commerce sites across highways.

The gang was allegedly active in several states like Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, and would rob vehicles by holding their drivers hostage at gunpoint, the police said.

According to STF officials, the gang leader, Navneet Atri (24), was one of the nine who were arrested.

“The gang has been active for at least one year. They would hold truck drivers hostage and then drive the trucks to a different state, where they would let the driver go and then flee with the goods. This was their modus operandi,” RK Mishra, deputy superintendent of police, STF, said.



The police further said they had been receiving tips about this gang for a while now. “Based on various tip-offs from our informants, a police team was stationed on the service road outside the Gautam Budh Nagar university. Around 12.30pm, the accused men were arrested, following a brief police encounter,” Mishra said, adding that the police recovered a lot of stolen goods from the accused, regarding which cases had been registered across various states.

Three cars (that were allegedly used in the robberies), 383 mobile phones looted from Gautam Budh Nagar, 90 pairs of branded shoes looted from Gurgaon, 11 pairs of sandals as well as 29 pairs of shoes looted from Agra, LED screens, bulbs and five mobile phone from Agra, two countrymade pistols and ₹70,000 in cash were recovered from the accused, along with tools like lock cutters, screw drivers, knives, etc.

The police said that during his interrogation, Atri told them that he was a high school dropout and used to drive trucks in Gurugram. He confessed that a while ago, he became acquainted with a man named Sanjay, a resident of Faridabad, who was involved in robbing delivery vehicles of e-commerce sites, and Atri started working with him, the police said.

“Together, they committed multiple dacoities in Faridabad, Gurugram, Bilaspur, etc. They also sold some of the stolen goods to a dealer in Delhi for ₹7.5 lakh. The dealer, Sanjay and few of their accomplices had been arrested in Gurugram nearly two months ago. However, Atri had managed to flee,” the DSP said.

The police said that he had been living in Khurja, Bulandshahr since then. He formed a new gang nearly two months ago, which included his cousin Bhanu Tomar, a resident of Aligarh, among others. Most of the gang members were former drivers themselves and understood how the whole system worked, the police said, adding that this knowledge helped them commit the crimes.

“On August 21, they robbed a truck in Manesar. They committed a similar crime on September 5 in Gurugram and kept the driver hostage. He was finally let go after they reached Agra. One of the arrested accused, Rakesh, a resident of Bhivani, Haryana, was the dealer who would then sell the stolen goods in Delhi-NCR,” Mishra said.

The police are also looking at insider involvement at these e-commerce sites. “We are also looking at insider involvement. So far, multiple cases have been registered against the accused across various states. We are looking at their involvement in more such incidents,” Mishra said.

Further processing of the accused is being done by the local police, following which the accused will be produced before a magistrate.

First Published: Sep 09, 2018 05:15:31

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