Auto-lifters’ gang busted, 25 stolen luxury cars worth over Rs 13 cr seized


Police have also recovered 16 tampered engines, eight fake number plates and six forged registration certificates from the possession of the accused during multiple raids in various parts of Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Delhi, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, spanning over the last two and half months.

Special Commissioner of Police (Crime), Ravindra Singh Yadav, revealed that these luxury cars were targeted by auto-lifters who operated in an organised manner across different regions of India.

“Upon analysing the crime trends, the Delhi Police observed that Toyota Cars — Fortuners/Innova Crysta were the prime targets of auto-lifters. Acting on this information, two teams were deployed to investigate and gather intelligence on the organised syndicate dealing in these stolen vehicles,” said Yadav.

Both teams conducted extensive research, using data analysis, GPS data, Call Detail Records (CDR), Dump Data, and human surveillance feedback which proved to be crucial in developing specific inputs about stolen luxury cars being transported to Southern, Western, and North-Western parts of India.

“The efforts paid off, resulting in the successful arrest of seven buyers/sellers of stolen luxury vehicles and the recovery of 18 stolen luxury cars, 18 fake number plates, and six forged registration certificates from various locations including Goa, Mumbai, Pune, and Hyderabad,” said the Special CP.

Similarly, another auto-lifter gang operating in the Delhi-NCR area was also busted.

“The operation led to the arrest of seven accused, including two auto-lifters, one maker of forged high-security number plates, one mechanic, and three buyers/sellers of stolen vehicles. The team seized seven stolen vehicles, 16 tampered engines, forged high-security number plates, forged high-security holograms, IND stickers, and articles used for making forged number plates from Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Haryana,” said Yadav.

The investigation revealed the modus operandi of the criminal gang involved in the theft of luxury cars.

“The gang would first identify vehicles declared as ‘Total Loss’ by insurance companies, purchase them, and then dispose of the parts as scrap while retaining the documents. Subsequently, upon receiving demands for specific makes and models, the thieves would lift targeted vehicles, erase their original identification details, and replace them with details from the purchased ‘Total Loss’ vehicles, thus giving the stolen cars new identities,” said the official.

“Interrogation of the accused provided significant insights into the operations of the syndicate. Rajkumar Kiran Sana Singh, the mastermind of the gang operating in Western and Southern India, revealed that he had contacts with various stolen car suppliers, most of whom he had not even met in person, relying solely on social media apps for communication,” said the official.

Rajukumar had started buying stolen vehicles initially from Bappa Ghosh and then selling them to his contacts in Manipur.

“Later through Bappa Ghosh, he came in contact with Daddy Singh and M.K of Uttar Pradesh through WhatsApp and they started providing him with stolen luxury cars in Pune. He later came in contact with Akash Desai, Yash Desai and Austin Cardoz, all residents of Goa, to whom he started delivering the stolen cars and organised the crime syndicate,” said the official

During interrogation, a startling fact has come to notice that Rajkumar was in touch with many stolen car suppliers, who were receiving these vehicles from the first rung receivers at Meerut (UP).

Some of the accused arrested have been identified as Rajkumar (34), a resident of Manipur, Yash Desai (28), a resident of Karnataka, Austin Cardoz (29), a resident of Goa, Suraj Sharma (35), a resident of Andhra Pradesh and others.

To address the vulnerabilities in security features of high-end cars, the Delhi Police also issued an advisory to manufacturers and insurers.

The advisory suggests the placement of SIM cards or chips accessible to customers, allowing them to disable the engine remotely in case of theft. Additionally, insurance companies were urged to block the engine and chassis details of ‘Total Loss’ vehicles to prevent their use in auto theft.

“Teams are actively pursuing investigations into the syndicate’s associates located in different parts of India. Efforts are on to arrest the remaining accused and dismantle the entire network, including receivers, auto-lifters, thieves and drivers involved in transporting stolen cars for further disposal,” the official added.




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