HYDERABAD: The members of the notorious Kanjar gang have committed several robberies across the country and they rob only goods vehicles carrying textiles, pesticides and cigarettes. The gang has so far stolen properties worth `50 crore, said police. The arrested accused Rajaram Malvi (52), Hakam Singh (45), Sunil Chavda (44) and K Raja Babu (22), all from Dewas district of Madhya Pradesh, are part of the Kanjar gang.
“The Kanjar gang members have been arrested for the first time in the country. They are involved in many offenses in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka. Their prime target is the containers carrying clothes, pesticides and cigarettes, which they sell to dealers in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh,” said Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat during a conference at his office here on Friday.
Gang’s first attempt to loot container failed
The investigators of Rachakonda commissionerate checked the CCTV footage available from 1,000 cameras located in and around Hyderabad before nabbing the robbers. The said robbery in city, police said, was the first of their attempts in state. During investigation, it was found that the gang made an attempt to rob the container which left for Bangalore on August 17, and followed the container till Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, but they failed in executing the plan. After returning to city on the same day, they planned to rob another container leaving for Renigunta near Tirupati on July 20.
“While following the container till Tirupati, they used a temporary registration number for the car (Innova) which escorted the lorries and while returning, they replaced the number plate with original registration number. The same car was seen at Degloor toll gate on the day of offense, which led the teams to progress further and visit Indore, Dewas, Bhopal and finally nab the four persons,” said an investigator.
During the probe, the police screened around one lakh mobile numbers retrieved from 25 mobile dumps from four places, to identify the suspicious mobile number. “After analysing the calls, messages and location of the mobile numbers, one phone number was found in four places wherever the vehicle of the accused moved in the city. It gave a vital clue for the team to go ahead in the investigation,” said a police officer from Rachakonda, who was part of the team. The officer shared that all the 24 gang members were expert drivers and they had a record of driving lorries at a very high speed.
“At one instance, the gang travelled 1,200 km in 14 hours to reach Indore, and all the lorries and escorting car travelled at the same speed giving a cover to each other. Even after robbery at Hayathnagar, they reached Degloor within three hours and that too before the police received the complaint,” the officer said. Probe also revealed that mastermind Rajan has his brother Kalyan, friend Naren and also a sarpanch of one of the villages in Balaghat district in Madhya Pradesh are members of the gang.
Lorries coloured afresh after passing every toll gate to divert police
Notorious for highway heists across the country, Kanjar gang from Madhya Pradesh maintained a signature style of executing robberies. They purchase SIM cards in the city where they commit offenses and never carry personal phones with them. The gang paints the lorries with different colours, every time they cross a toll gate, said officials who have worked extensively to study the modus operandi of the gang before zeroing on them at Dewas town of Madhya Pradesh.
With the first-ever arrest of four members of the 24-member Kanjar gang, the police departments of three states have to come together and interrogate the accused in order to investigate the offenses done by them. The gang has committed similar offenses and looted properties worth around `50 crore at Gujarat, Karnataka and Maharashtra. A dedicated team of Rachakonda police worked on finding clues to trace Rs 4 crore worth cigarettes robbed on the national highway 64 at Hayathnagar.
All the 24 gang members of the Kanjar gang are expert drivers and they have a record of driving lorries at a very high speed
The accused have fixed additional bumpers and iron frames to the lorry to ram police vehicles that come in their way
We screened around one lakh mobile numbers retrieved from 25 mobile dumps from four places, to identify the suspicious mobile number Police official