Six debt-ridden cab drivers who turned carjackers to recover business losses were arrested by the North Division police, who recovered 17 cars worth Rs 1.26 crore from them. The accused were identified as Srinivasa (29), Jeevan, (26), Manju, (29), Arakesh, (23) Vahab Anju, (24) and Noorulla, (22) from Koratagere, Channapatna and Laggere. The accused decided to start a business of buying and selling used cars, but suffered huge losses. They took to crime to recover their losses, the police said. DCP (North) Chethan Singh Rathor said that the accused targeted only those taxi drivers who had purchased cars on loan and were finding it difficult to repay the amount.
The accused would tell taxi drivers to hand over the cars to them, saying they would clear the remaining loan after selling the cars at good rates. Unaware of their criminal intention, taxi drivers would hand them over the cars only to get a loan default notice a few months later. “The accused would pay instalments for a few months and then stop it. When banks sent loan default notices to the actual owners, they approached the accused only to find their office closed and mobiles switched off,” Mr Singh said. The accused forged vehicle documents and sold the cars to make quick money. They had duped 14 taxi drivers and banks in the last seven months.
Another modus operandi of the accused was to book SUVs from travel agencies and decamp with the vehicles after assaulting the drivers. They used SIM cards obtained from forged IDs to book the vehicles and later threw the SIM cards. Three robberies have been registered against them in Belagavi, Salem and Mangaluru. Based on one of the complaints, the Rajagopal Nagar police tracked them down and arrested them on Sunday.
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