Bike-jackers turned pro

Well paid, well organised, well coordinated and highly skilled criminal organisations are stealing motorbikes in the capital. They even have intelligence wing, marketing wing and one that comes up with fake documents for stolen bikes. They have at least five wings.

Like any other sophisticated organisations, the gangs begin their work with intelligence information. Informants on their payroll feed the gang with infos of likely victims, where he usually parks his bike, what kind of bike he rides and security arrangements in the area where the bike is usually parked.

Informants in cases spend weeks gathering information so that the next stage of the theft goes smooth.

“Each informant gets paid around Tk 5,000 for every successful theft,” said Sub-Inspector Abdul Aziz of Mirpur Police Station describing how the gangs function.

The organogram of motorcycle-stealing gangs surfaced after Mirpur police arrested five operatives of such a gang in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Munshiganj on May 24. They also got hold of four stolen motorbikes and equipment for picking locks and hot-wiring bikes.

In the last few months, police recovered more than 15 stolen motorbikes and private cars from different places in Mirpur and arrested members of several gangs, said Mirpur Police Station Officer-in-Charge Kazi Wazed Ali.

Once all information is collected, the nifty lock pickers swing into action. They usually work in pairs and all they do is unlock the bike and leave it there for the wing of the gang that actually steals the bike. Each lock picker gets around Tk 5,000 for each break in and unlocking.

After the unlocking, a group of thieves hijack the motorbike disabling, obstructing and in some cases beating up and tying up security guards. They sometimes drug security guards into unconsciousness.

Based on the resale value of the stolen bike, the thieves get between Tk 5,000 and Tk 20,000.

After the hijack, the marketing wing starts its operation and looks for customers preferably those who live outside the capital.

Meanwhile, another wing of the gang, which allegedly has connections in the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), gets fake papers for the stolen bike. The documents collectors get around Tk 5,000 for each set of papers.

“The stolen motorcycle is usually sold between Tk 40,000 and Tk 70,000 along with necessary documents including the BRTA registration,” said Aziz.

Operatives of the marketing tier are the most beneficiaries as they get all the money left after paying the operatives in the other tiers of the gang.

The arrestees’ gang, which stole at least 100 bikes in the last two years, said they usually target new motorbikes of renowned brands.

Owner of a brand-new Bajaj Discover motorbike Abu Hena Russell, a senior reporter of a Bengali national daily, fell victim to such a gang in November last year.

“The gang locked the security guard from outside in his room in the car park of my home,” said Russell, a resident of West Sheorapara in Mirpur.

Shaheen Mollah and Najmul Alam Nobin – daily star

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