Mumbai

GRP arrests duo for train robbery

GRP personnel with the arrested members of the ‘tak tak’ gang, who operated on long-distance trains.

GRP personnel with the arrested members of the ‘tak tak’ gang, who operated on long-distance trains.  

‘Tak tak’ gang stole ₹13.5 lakh in cash and NRI’s passport on Kerala-bound train

The Crime Branch of the Government Railway Police (GRP) have arrested two persons for stealing a non-resident Indian’s bag on a train on July 11.

According to the police, the accused, Sureshkumar Pandurangan and Senthilkumar Mahalingam, were part of the ‘tak tak’ gang, that operated on long-distance trains from the city. The bag contained jewellery and cash, both U.S. dollars and rupees worth ₹13.5 lakh, and the victim’s passport.

The victim, Deepa Mehta, lives in Nairobi and was on her way to Kannur in Kerala along with her family. They had boarded the Netravati Express at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, when the accused robbed her on the train.

“One of the accused distracted the victim, saying her money has fallen down while the other stole her bag, which contained goods worth over ₹8 lakh and her passport,” said Samadhan Pawar, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Railway). “The incident occurred inside the coach, just before the train was about to depart,” he said.

According Mr. Pawar, the Kurla railway police station had received a similar complaint from the train in June, when the accused had stolen a bag containing goods worth ₹90,000.

“Since the incident took place inside the coach, there was no close-circuit television to rely on. Our informants told us the gang was also operating in Bandra Terminus, where we set up a trap,” Mr. Pawar said.

Tak tak gangs normally operate in twos and threes. While one distracts the victim, the other snatches bags and moves away. The police said the accused was from Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu and would come to the city only for a few months.

“They would normally live in lodges or slums on rent. Since they would go to a new place each time, people in the neighbourhood would not know anything about them,” Mr. Pawar said. The police have recovered goods worth ₹8.15 lakh along with the passport, and are searching for another accomplice called Murthy.

Mr. Pandurangan had earlier been arrested for being part of a group that stole a cash box worth ₹1.5 crore in Dharavi in 2016.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 3:51:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/grp-arrests-duo-for-train-robbery/article24535342.ece

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