The arrest has brought to light 17 cases in Southern Division
A gang of eight allegedly involved in a series of thefts on trains across Southern Railway and other zones was nabbed by the Government Railway Police at Katpadi in Vellore district on Sunday.
Briefing presspersons, Inspector-General of Police (Railways) R. Arumugam said the suspects, all natives of Haryana, targeted Tamil Nadu as passengers here tend to wear more gold jewellery.
Based on specific inputs, a special team formed to investigate complaints of theft of valuables on trains apprehended the suspects at the Katpadi railway station. At least 100 sovereigns of gold jewellery and other valuables worth about Rs. 25 lakh were recovered from their possession.
Their modus operandi was to travel with confirmed tickets and befriend select co-passengers. “They told interrogators that since passengers in Tamil Nadu wore more gold even while travelling on trains they operated in this part of the country. The accused would offer them biscuits or drinks mixed with sedatives. Sometimes, they would take away their valuables while trying to help them in moving the baggage,” he said.
Mr. Arumugam said Kuldeep Singh (32), Sunil Kumar (25), Gajay Singh (50), Bajrang Lal (35), Phool Singh (55), Pardeep Kumar (28), Kuldeep (24) and Satish Kumar (25) had been involved in thefts on trains for several years.
“This is the first time that the police managed to corner them. We are sending the fingerprints and other details of the suspects to other zones. Their arrest has so far solved about 17 thefts reported in Southern Railway,” he said.
Additional Director-General of Police (Railways) R. Sekar said at least seven more gangs belonging to the northern states were operating in Tamil Nadu and teams were following certain clues to locate them. “Of late, the suspects are operating in groups. We are keeping a close watch on the activities of suspicious persons on railway premises. The closed-circuit television (CCTV) network is being extended to as many locations as possible at major railway stations,” he said.