Gang earns Rs 1 crore from theft of national highway construction materials in Kozhikode

The operation was unearthed during an early morning patrol on Sunday.
 The main accused, identified as Munwar Ali, was arrested along with four others, including a woman.
The main accused, identified as Munwar Ali, was arrested along with four others, including a woman. Photo | Express

KOZHIKODE: Pantheeramkavu police have uncovered an organised, large-scale theft of materials meant for national highway work in Kozhikode. A migrant worker and his friends from Assam are believed to have earned over Rs 1 crore from selling the loot. The operation was unearthed during an early morning patrol on Sunday.

During the operation, officers discovered a cycle rickshaw loaded with a significant quantity of construction materials. The main accused, identified as Munwar Ali, was arrested along with four others, including a woman. According to police officers, Munwar and his accomplices -- Nilan, Aymar Ali, Moyman Ali, and Rahna -- have already sold materials worth over a crore. The cycle rickshaw is deployed at different locations of the NH construction site, from where the gang steals material including metal rods and other valuables during the early hours.

Authorities tracked down a rented godown allegedly used by the accused to store the stolen materials. The godown, rented at a cost of Rs 60,000 per month, contained construction materials valued at approximately Rs 9 lakh. The police indicated that the group had transported materials worth Rs 1 crore using a lorry just a day before their arrest. The gang also steals concrete, sand and stone chips from construction sites.

Munwar, originally from Assam, had moved to Kozhikode a few years ago in search of employment. According to police reports, the group had been involved in similar thefts over an extended period. In response to the incident, police have urged construction companies associated with the NH project to increase vigil and secure their materials more effectively.

Locals said they had noticed people going near under-construction sites and hauling materials that is then sold to scrap dealers. “We had passed on information of such activity to the nearby police station, but never in our wildest dreams did we imagine the extent of the robbery,” a resident said.

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