The Delhi Police on Thursday said they have busted a gang, members of which robbed cab drivers and their customers by either posing as passengers or drivers of app-based cab aggregator companies. Four members of the gang, including its kingpin, were arrested on Wednesday by a crime branch team from near Hasanpur bus depot in east Delhi where they had assembled to commit another crime, the police said.
The robbers allegedly abducted their targets on gunpoint after drugging and thrashing them in the moving vehicles. They used to keep the victims confined in a flat in Ghaziabad to buy time for withdrawing money from their bank accounts using ATM cards, said deputy commissioner of police (crime) G Ram Gopal Naik said.
The police identified the arrested men as Hashim alias Sonu,25, the gang’s kingpin, Satyabir Pandey,36, a cab driver, Sachin Paswan,22, and Majid Salmani — all residents of Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. Police claimed that they were involved in more than a dozen robberies.
“We have recovered 24 tablets that the suspects used to drug their victims, four mobile phone, one cab that they used in the crimes, and three country made pistols with eight cartridges from the arrested robbers,” he said.
DCP Naik said on November 1 around 7.30 pm, the four robbers booked a cab through a phone app from Anand Vihar bus terminal to Noida Sector-126. Three of them posed as passengers and boarded the cab. The fourth man, Pandey, followed them in another cab.
On the way to Noida, the DCP said the robbers offered the driver a soft drink mixed with sedative pills. The driver started feeling dizzy after drinking it. After reaching Noida, the robbers made the driver stop the cab at an isolated place. They overpowered and thrashed the driver, robbed him off his money, mobile phone and other valuables. The robbers then bundled him in his cab and took him to a rented flat in Ghaziabad, said an investigator.
According to the investigator, the suspects left the driver in the flat and went out driving, looking for more targets. They were driving around the New Delhi railway station when they received cab booking request on the driver’s cellphone.
One of the robbers posed as the driver and picked a Pune-based businessman and his 11-year-old son who had booked the cab for Delhi airport. Other members of the gang started following him in another cab.
“At a secluded place, the robbers kidnapped the father-son duo on gunpoint, thrashed them and robbed their money, mobile phones, laptops, and debit cards. They took them to the same flat where the driver was held hostage. They assaulted the father-son duo with a pistol’s butt, forcing them to reveal their debit cards secret codes,” said Naik.
Police said the robbers withdrew Rs 1.60 lakh using the victims’ debit cards before dropping the father-son duo near Kashmere Gate in the early hours of November 2. The victims approached the police and filed a case.
“We collected information about the suspects involved in the crime and arrested them on specific inputs,” added the DCP.