Police end four-year run of train thief

Shahul Hameed.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Shahul Hameed calls himself an influential businessman. He has a Master’s degree from the Netherlands, speaks six languages, including Spanish and French, and is a partner in a Malaysian hotel. He is also a train thief. For four years, he travelled in air-conditioned coaches in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, targeted women passengers mostly and stole their jewellery in the dead of night. At least on 30 occasions.

Puzzled by the complaints of theft from women passengers travelling in AC coaches in these two States between 2016 and 2019, the Government Railway Police (GRP) constituted a special team, which analysed the details of passengers from the charts and found that Hameed had travelled in all the trains in which thefts were reported.

“We intensified our surveillance in AC coaches. Tracing the suspect on the Blue Mountain Express from Mettupalayam, our men in plainclothes took him into custody,” Railways DIG V. Balakrishnan told The Hindu.

According to him, the 39-year-old Hameed, a native of Thrissur, resisted the police from arresting him and claimed to be an influential businessman. Sustained interrogation revealed his criminal antecedents, the DIG said.

“Before boarding the train, he observed the movement of potential targets — preferably women — on the stations. Between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., he would stealthily lift their bags and steal valuables — diamonds, gold jewellery, cash and electronic gadgets — and then place the bags back in their original place,” the DIG said.

According to GRP officials, Hameed sold the stolen jewellery in Thrissur and Mumbai and flew back to Kuala Lumpur, where he and his second wife Shahana were partners in a hotel. “He needed money to oust a third partner from the hotel. So he came here again and was caught red-handed. We have recovered 110 sovereigns of gold from him,” R. Rohit Nathan, SP, Railways, said.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2021 11:01:48 PM |

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