KOLKATA: The city police on Saturday busted a mobile phone smuggling ‘business’ with a monthly ‘turnover’ running into lakhs of rupees. The kingpin of the gang of thieves Mukesh Mahato paid his ‘employees’ a steady salary and sneaked the expensive phones that they stole to Bangladesh.
The DC of the Detective Department, Bidhannagar Police, said, “Mahato, who belongs to Jharkhand, came here and took three three youth under his wing. They would move around shopping malls and break into residences to steal mobile phones. He gave them a salary of `10,000 per month on the condition that each of them stole at least five phones a day. They stole hundreds of expensive cell phones every month. Mahtao smuggled these phones to Bangladesh in bulk.”
He said the incident was the first of its kind and that the police had never come across a man who employed thieves on a monthly salary. Mahato, 26, started stealing mobile phones when he was a teenager. In October, during the Durga Puja, he shifted his base to the city and rented a house in Salt Lake to start the “business”.
After amassing around 70 phones, he would send Ziaur Rahman, an ‘employee’, to smuggle them to Bangladesh through the border in North Bengal. The Biddhannagar Police team nabbed Rahman from Malda and subsequently Mahatao and two others from Salt Lake.