Car theft mastermind lands in police net

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TURA, April 15: Police in West Garo Hills (WGH) district have revealed details of an ongoing investigation that has led them to an inter-state gang of car smugglers after the arrest of one of the masterminds from near Williamnagar on Sunday.

Krebi Sangma, a resident of Bokmagre in Tura was arrested while he was moving from Dudhnoi to Williamnagar. The arrest comes in the wake of a spree of sophisticated car thefts from in and around Tura town in WGH district. He has been identified as one of the masterminds of the gang of car thieves whose operations stretch from Meghalaya through Assam and into Nagaland.

Krebi Sangma had been arrested earlier as well in similar cases as well with the police in 2014 missing him during a ‘Naka check’ after he ran from the auto he was travelling in. A pistol was recovered in that instance.

He was last seen in a CCTV camera while trying to break into a car along with some gang members a few weeks ago. The incident had led to the arrest of one of the thieves while the others escaped.

“We had received information that he was returning after meeting his contact in Dudhnoi in Goalpara in Assam and arrested him. After the arrest, we recovered a few bikes, accounts used to receive money for sale of the stolen vehicles from frozen surveillance records,” said the Superintendent of Police, WGH, Dr MGR Kumar.

Further tools used for stealing vehicles, including master keys of Bolero cars and other 4 wheelers, walkie talkie sets, key programmer (ODB type), sophisticated tools along with a grenade were recovered.

“We cannot rule out the motive of forming an anti social gang or outfit of an inter – state or international nature. This group is well spread out across the NE and they receive and send money through banks mostly,” he added.

The gang, according to police, had many layers and is very well organized.

“They had a recce group, a group meant for stealing, intermediate handlers, vehicle modifying group, number plate makers as well document makers (including RC), including an online uploader group. Each received a part of the payment,” said Dr Kumar.

The SP informed that while some bikes were recovered, cars stolen by the group are yet to be recovered.

A total of 9 members from the gang have already been arrested with the special investigation team going as far at Dimapur in Nagaland to Bongaigaon in Assam to crack the case.

The arrests include two key leaders of the gang identified as Krebi A Sangma of Bokmagre village near Tura and Deep Ray alias Kamal from Dimapur town of Nagaland.  A third member who oversaw the transfer of the stolen vehicles in Assam, Abdul Ali from Rongjuli town near Dudhnoi, was arrested on Monday evening by a joint police team of Assam and West Garo Hills police.

The members from the gang so far identified and arrested are Thangseng R Marak and Dikrak R Marak of  Salpara Mendipathar (North Garo Hills), Diraz Tengbi Ch Marak of Jangrapara Tikrikilla, Jacky A Sangma of Mukdangra near Garobadha, Tinstar R Marak alias Rorok of Gajing Jangpara in Mendipather and Mayush Momin of Mongpangro, Mendipathar along with the above mentioned masterminds.

“They were paid as much as Rs 15000 per vehicle that they managed to lift. We are hopeful of recovering a few of the vehicles after interrogation,” added the SP.

Two members of the same criminal gang are currently absconding.