Tuesday, 30 May, 2023

Gangs in garb of DB men on the prowl ahead of Eid

As Eid-ul-Fitr approaches, a surge in criminal activities has been observed in the capital and other parts of the country, with organized gangs of criminals posing as plain-cloth police from the Detective Branch (DB).

These armed individuals, donning DB jackets, wielding walky-talkies, and carrying handcuffs, have been introducing themselves as detective personnel and snatching cash and valuables from their unsuspecting targets.     

This rise in crime has been reported in and around the capital, including Ashulia, Savar, Tongi, Kanchpur, and Keraniganj.

City commuters have been increasingly falling prey to these organised gangs of armed hoodlums, losing cash, gold ornaments, and other valuables. The criminals typically wait at strategic locations, taking advantage of the situation to swoop in on their targets and escape with their loot.

The imposters often wear police uniforms, carry handcuffs, walky-talkies, and use microbuses to blend in and wait for their targets at strategic points. They then swoop in on their victims, abducting them in their vehicles and blindfolding and handcuffing them.

The victims are eventually released in exchange for money.

According to detective sources, about 10 to 12 such groups are operating in the capital and its outskirts, using false identities of law enforcers to abduct people for ransom.

The criminals, posing as detective police, have been trapping innocent individuals and businessmen and extorting money from them in exchange for their freedom.

In Gazipur, the police have arrested seven members of a robbery gang who were posing as DB police. The arresteeswere identified as Md. Ariful Islam Sohan, Md. Mominul Islam Momin alias Rupchan, Md. Billal alias Nazrul, Md. Shafiqul Islam, Md. Rubel, Md. Zakir Hossain, and Md. Mizanur Rahman.

These criminals had committed a robbery at Jack Battery Godown in Desipara area, posing as DB police and taking advantage of the employees' trust.

The robbers took cash, mobile phones, and other valuables from the employees and later made off with autorickshaws, old batteries, and a significant amount of money.

After receiving information, the police arrested one of the suspects, Mizanur, and later apprehended four more individuals and seized various goods. Several cases have been filed against some of the arrested persons under various laws, including stolen robbery weapons.             Recovered items included a truck used in the robbery, a DB jacket, a toy pistol, a set of Metropolitan Police uniforms, a pair of police PT Su, a police cap, a police belt, a chapati, 12 grams of heroin, and a laser light.

Meanwhile, a businessman in Bhanga Upazila of Faridpur district has reported being robbed of Tk 10 lakh and a mobile phone by individuals posing as DB police officers. The incident occurred on April 13, and a written complaint was filed by the victim, Russell Mia, on Friday, April 14.

Russell Mia, 25, is an onion trader by profession. According to Mia's written complaint, he was returning home in an auto-rickshaw after withdrawing Tk 9.79 lakh from Janata Bank and Islami Bank in Bhanga Bazar. Mia had more than Tk 10 lakh in total when his auto-rickshaw was stopped by four unidentified men in Kharakandi village.

The men claimed to be DB police officers, handcuffed Mia, and took him to a private car where he was beaten and blindfolded. The perpetrators then stole Mia's money and mobile phone before leaving him blindfolded on the road in front of Ragdi Union Parishad in Moksedpur Upazila of Gopalganj.

OC Ziarul Islam of Bhanga police station confirmed the complaint and stated that a police operation is underway to identify the culprits and take action. Faridpur Police Superintendent Shahjahan assured that the accused would soon be arrested, as multiple teams were actively pursuing leads.

Deputy Commissioner (Media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Faruq Hossain, warned of organized criminal gangs posing as detectives to target innocent individuals. In response to the growing issue, several detective teams are patrolling streets in the capital and surrounding areas to apprehend these criminals.