Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Sharp rise in carjacking

9 held with 14 cars, 5 motorbikes
Police recovered 14 stolen cars and five motorbikes and arrested nine suspected carjackers in Chittagong and Dhaka on Thursday and Friday.
The law enforcers were seemingly happy with the success of their recent drives, which came at a time when the crime is on the rise. But they could not hide their frustration over the cycle of suspects being apprehended, then getting out on bail, getting involved in the crime again, and getting arrested all over again.
On Friday and Thursday, three teams of Detective Branch of police in separate drives recovered the stolen vehicles from Banasree, Shahjahanpur, Bailey Road, Joykali Mandir, Adabar, Bangshal, Bashundhara and Darussalam areas of the capital and Chandgaon, Panchlaish, Doublemooring and Kotwali areas of port city. All the vehicles were stolen from Dhaka, said DB officials.
The detained were identified as Jubayer Ahmed alias Babu, 24, Shahjarul Islam alias Milon, 19, Gias Uddin alias Khokan, 37, Mohammad Murad, 32, Mohammad Jahangir Alam, 44, Mohammad Solaiman, 37, Shakil Ahmed alias Sujon, 26, Enamul Huq alias Babu, 29, and Kamal Ahmed, 28.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Masudur Rahman said, “Police arrested a large number of people involved in carjacking, but most of them get involved in carjacking again while they are out on bail. And as the criminals know they will get bail, they don’t care about harming drivers and motorists.
“There was one Belal who was arrested 36 times for carjacking and another Al-Amin was apprehended 32 times in connection with the same crime,” he cited as examples.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Maniruzzaman, additional deputy police commissioner of Detective Branch (DB-North), at the DB office yesterday said, “Carjacking is on the rise now as well as the number of carjacker gangs.”
He said the rise in carjacking is worrying since it is also responsible for spike in other crimes. He said stolen cars are often used for drug peddling, arms dealing and mugging.
According to DMP officials, so far this year around 500 cars have been reported stolen. In July and August alone, 133 cars were reported stolen and 76 were recovered. In June, 56 cars were stolen, in May 51, in April 54, in March 63, in February 45 and in January 51.
It is horrifying that police records show there were 2,094 carjacking incidents in last three years and they recovered only a third of them (693 vehicles) and arrested 1,397 suspects.
But sources and police also say that the actual figure of carjacking incidents is much higher as most incidents do not get reported. Unless criminals get away with the vehicle, owners do not bother to inform police of the matter even if they suffer injuries.
Police sources say that over 30 gangs of carjackers with 200 criminals operate in the capital alone and they have clever and innovative ways of carjacking. Some use firearms while some use ropes to strangle drivers to death. Some use chemicals to neutralise them while some poison drivers to take their vehicles.
Masudur, who led the Car Theft Prevention Team since its launch in 2007, said there are some gangs who are experts in changing chassis numbers and making fake BRTA documents. Stolen vehicles are mostly sold off in remote areas far away from the capital with fake chassis numbers and BRTA (Bangladesh Road Transport Authority) documents, he said.
However, sources claimed that stolen vehicles do ply the city streets. They said even large corporations use stolen vehicles unknowingly as they have to rent a number of vehicles.
The government on August 10 made installation of global positioning system (GPS) mandatory for all motor vehicles to prevent carjacking and ensure road safety.
Several private companies are already providing GPS support on a small scale after obtaining licences from Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

-With The Daily Star input

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