A band of inter-district dacoits has been robbing businessmen, to be specific only hundi traders, in Dhaka city and surrounding areas only on Saturdays for the last eight years.
The gang chooses any Saturday of a month as traffic is light on this day of the week, making it convenient for them to reach their destinations and escape after completing their missions.
Interestingly, before every mission, they used to fly to a shrine in Sylhet to repent. Besides, new members of the gang used to swear in the shrine that if they are caught, they would not share any information.
They visit a place the day before a mission and scout the security system. They fix places that are not CCTV surveillance. During a mission, the robbers fire two rounds into the air and flee with the money.
The Detective Branch (Ramna) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) arrested three members of the inter-district robber gang from Savar and Jashore on Wednesday along with two foreign weapons in their possession, said Mishu Biswash, an additional deputy commissioner of police, Ramna Zonal Team.
During interrogation by the police, the arrested gang members said they used to choose hundi businessmen because the source of money of hundi traders is illegal and quite often they do not inform the law enforcement agencies. At the same time, robbing hundi businessmen is easier as vehicles carrying money from banks or other financial institutions have higher security, the police officer added.
It has also been revealed during the interrogation that one of the members of this bandit group has about 100 decimals of land and fish farm in Barisal.
The gang comprises 14-15 members. Some of them are in jail while others are fugitives. They bought cars and foreign pistols for robbery. They always plan robberies targeting crores of taka. the police could not yet determine the source of the weapons, Mishu Biswash said.
The arrestees are gang leader Jalil Mollah and his accomplices Riaz and Dipu. During the arrest, two foreign revolvers, 50 rounds of ammunition, two motorcycles and Tk1 lakh in cash were recovered from them. Jalil has used the robbed money to build houses and cars and buy land, said Detective Branch Additional Commissioner of Police AKM Hafeez Akhter at a press conference at the DMP Media Center on Thursday.
On 28 August, a businessman left Nihon Money Exchange in Motijheel in a car with Tk60 lakh. Six robbers on a motorcycle followed the car and stopped it on the Mouchak flyover. Firstly, they fired two rounds into the air and smashed the car door glass with a hammer to create panic. At that time, the robbers opened the car boot and snatched a bag of Tk60 lakh, said the additional commissioner further.
These robbers snatched Tk25 lakh from another businessman in the Motijheel area on 4 September, he added.
Citing preliminary interrogation, the police officer said some members of the gang were stationed in the money exchange area and target traders who carry a large amount of money. The information of the targeted person is given to other members who follow the target and rob the money at a convenient place.