Staff Reporter

She was allegedly trying to amass Rs. 2 lakh for her marriage

Her group was known as ‘Black Santro Gang’

She had roped in her brother too in the gang

NEW DELHI: Bitten by the love bug, a 24-year-old executive with a reputed international airline allegedly began running a parallel “snatching racket” after all her attempts to amass Rs.2 lakh for her marriage failed.

Young Ekta Munshani, a graduate in History, and two of her accomplices have now been arrested by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police for alleged involvement in over two dozen cases of snatching in South Delhi’s upmarket areas. The alleged accomplices include Ekta’s teenaged brother, a Class X student, who too joined hands with his sister after their father disapproved of her marrying a boy of her choice.

“Ekta was earlier employed with a firm in Noida where she came in contact with a boy and they both decided to get married. But her father strongly opposed the alliance and she left home to stay with her paternal uncle,” said a senior police officer.

Relations between the two soured further and the father, who runs a grocery shop at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, asked her to return the Rs.2 lakh he had earlier deposited in her account.

As she had squandered away all the money, Ekta approached several banks for a loan but failed to procure one as she already had a car loan against her salary and coughing up instalment of Rs.8,000 per month.

“Left with no other option, she approached a close friend, Punit, previously involved in snatching cases, who suggested that she try out snatching to make easy money. She convinced her brother and his friend Prem Chauhan and the four started operating as a gang in the first week of December. They first struck at Karol Bagh and made off with Rs. 12,000 in cash and a mobile phone of a foreigner. After a couple of snatchings, they overcame the initial fear and hesitation and targeted over a dozen people in Lajpat Nagar, Yusuf Sarai, Lajpat Nagar, South Extension Market, Central Market and Connaught Place. They also abused the credit cards found in stolen purses for shopping, petrol refilling and to pay their hotel bills,” said the police officer.

The gang soon came to be known as the “Black Santro Gang” as the trio would go out in Ekta’s Santro bearing a fake registration number. The three were finally arrested near Haldiram’s on Ring Road on Tuesday. Their fourth accomplice is absconding.