Vol. 5 Num 1141 Tue. August 14, 2007  
Front Page

Only half an hour needed to vanish a stolen motorbike

An organised gang of motorcycle thieves takes only half an hour after stealing a motorbike to prepare fake documents for it and to change its registration number plates.

After a successful operation, the thieves send short text messages from their mobile phones to their boss, who then readies the necessary documents within half an hour to dodge the eyes of law enforcers, a member of such an organised gang, who is now on a five-day remand in custody of detective police, divulged the information.

The arrested gang member, Rajib, also disclosed that motorbikes stolen from the capital are sent to gang operatives in other districts within a day or two, and then the district gang members sell those at prices ranging from Tk 25,000 to Tk 35,000. He said they sell a Bajaj Pulsar 150cc motorbike for Tk 35,000, although its market price is now around Tk 1.5 lakh.

Rajib said he gets Tk 4,000 to Tk 5,000 in each successful operation.

Following up on the information from Rajib, a team of the Detective Branch (DB) of police led by Additional Deputy Commissioner Masudur Rahman recovered 12 stolen motorcycles in a raid at Faridganj in Chandpur between Sunday evening and early yesterday.

The team so far recovered 63 different types of stolen vehicles in the last four months, 17 of which are private cars, four microbuses, one pick-up van, 16 CNG run three-wheelers, and 25 motorcycles.

DB arrested Rajib and his three associates from the capital on August 1 with three stolen motorbikes in their possession. The other arrestees are Monir, Pankaj and Amir Hossain.

Hailing from Kaliganj upazila in Satkhira, Rajib said he had worked as a machine operator in Dhaka Paper Mill for three years until he was laid off and joined the gang of motorcycle thieves in 2002. An accused in 12 theft cases, Rajib had been arrested before in 2003, and was released from jail in only six months. After his release from jail he went to Saudi Arabia, where he even performed the Hajj. A year and a half later he was deported to Bangladesh as he had gone there on a tourist visa but started stealing motorcycles there too, Rajib told The Daily Star.

He was arrested again only four months ago on similar charges and was sent to jail just to be out on the street again on bail in just 20 days.

He said his gang leader, whose name was not disclosed for the sake of investigation, spent

Tk 50,000 for his legal battle.

Venting frustrations, a DB official said Rajib was arrested twice earlier, but each time he came out of jail soon. He said according to the existing law, which was enacted in 1860, if a person is convicted of stealing someone else's property from an open area, he or she should be sent to only one year rigorous or simple imprisonment. So, the law should be amended making the punishment harsher for those who steal expensive things, he added.