A poultry-laden pickup owned by one Abdus Sattar Ahmed was intercepted by another pickup carrying some hijackers on Dhaka-Sylhet highway at Shibpur in Narsingdi on the night of May 9.
The criminals took the driver and his helper hostage at gunpoint. Later, they hijacked the vehicle after pushing the duo down.
The arrestees are Sumon Chowkidar alias Sumon Mia, 38, Mohammad Mostafa, 32, Arif Hossain, 34, Mohammad Palash, 32, Mohammad Karim, 25, Mohammad Hasan, 18, Ripon alias Akash, 24, Joynal Abedin, 31, Omar Faruk Faisal, 20, Rasel, 24, Hafizul Islam, 33, Makbul Hossain Prokash alias Mangal Hossain Babu, 24, Aslamul Haque, 35, Rafiqul Islam, 35 and Hasan Howlader, 37.
After the arrests, the crime data on the arrestees surprised the detective police that they were the members of a gang who had been involved in killing, robbery, mugging, hijacking and other crimes on the highways and in different parts in Dhaka city and more than 19 districts of the country for the last 18 years.
The districts include Dhaka, Chapainawabganj, Natore, Naogaon, Bogura, Sirajganj, Kushtia, Tangail, Jamalpur, Mymensingh, Manikganj, Narsingdi, Narayanganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Gopalganj, Faridpur, Jashore and Pirojpur.
The gang, headed by Sumon Mia, is still active in the city and districts, said detective police, adding that they are committing the crimes, mostly hijacking of good-laden vehicles.
Shahdat Hossain Suma, additional deputy commissioner (Tejgaon Zonal Team) of DB Tejgaon Division, told the Daily Sun that the gang has separate members in every district.
“There are some advocates in different parts of the country, who have a link to the gang members. After the arrests of the criminals, the lawyers carry out legal fight for their bail even in dues,” he said.
So, after their arrest, they come out of jail and return to their old jobs, he added.
Inspector Abul Mabud, who investigated two cases filed against Sumon and 10 others with Kotwali Police Station on July 27, who was already transferred to Chattogram Range police, collected crime data on the arrestees, including Sumon.
Sumon, son of late Manik Mia of West Sohagdol at Nesarabad (Swarupkathi) in Pirojpur, is wanted in 29 criminal cases, including several murders.
The cases were filed with Lalbagh, Kamrangirchar, Kotwali and Keraniganj police stations in Dhaka, Mirzapur Police Station in Tangail, Saturia Police Station in Manikganj, Sonargaon, Rupganj and Sadar police stations in Narayanganj, Cumilla Sadar Police Station, Gazaria Police Station in Munshiganj and Bhandaria Police Station in Pirojpur.
Some 13 of the cases were lodged against Sumon only with Mirzapur Police Station.
Analysing the 29 cases, it has been found that Sumon obtained bail in a number of cases within a short time after his arrest while warrants for his arrest were issued against him in other cases.
During robbery at a jewellery shop, Sumon killed an employee of the shop at night a few years back.
Abul Mabud said that the network of the Sumon gang is very powerful. With committing crimes, the recruitment of fresh members continues, he said.
Babu and Aslam are the second-in-commands of Sumon.
Aslam and Sumon are wanted in a good number of cases with different police stations across the country.
Being concern over the robberies and hijacking on the highways, the Highway Police has already made a list of the crime incidents under its jurisdiction and placed the list to Police Headquarters which is now being scrutinised.