BY ZAFAR ABBAS
New Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) The Irani gang is spreading its tentacles all over India, duping people with a unique modus operandi by posing as police officers from the CBI or the Crime Branch.
Taking advantage of their built and height, as well as fluency in the local dialect, they convince their targets they are undercover police officers and ask the victims to part with their jewelry on the pretext of keeping it safe in a packet.
Usually, they then pack the jewelry in a paper packet and instead of returning the real jewelry, hand over fake jewelry in a similar packet to the victim.
During this time, another gang member pretending to be a passer-by, also hands over his belongings to the impersonator to gain the confidence of the victim.
Another member, who will be stationed some metres away, will keep a watch and other gang members wait in a car or bike to flee with the booty.
Members of these gangs, who hail from Iran, mostly come to Delhi-NCR from Maharashtra and commit offences, such as robbing people of their belongings after offering lifts or conning elderly people, especially women, and stealing their jewelry by posing as police personnel.
Sometimes, they trick women into removing their jewelry by cooking up stories of violent snatchings in the neighborhood.
Police say Irani gang members work in groups of about five people and usually reside in hotels on the outskirts of the city in which they carry out the crime.
Such gangs are believed to be active in Ambewali, Shivaji Nagar (Maharashtra), Bidar (Karnataka), Pipariya (Madhya Pradesh), Deoband (Uttar Pradesh) and Kaliyar Sharif (Uttarakhand).
Recent incidents of robberies in Delhi and the National Capital Region indicate a similar pattern of crimes carried out by a gang of unknown people posing as cops.
Keeping in view the gravity of the crime and unique modus operandi followed by gang members, a team was formed by the Crime Branch.
The team recently succeeded in arresting four gang members from IP Park near Sarai Kale Khan.
The recovered gold and ornaments were traced back to cases in Faridabad in Haryana. The gang also used a stolen mobile phone which was also recovered.
Amjad, one of the arrested accused, a resident of Ambewali, Kalyan in Maharashtra has at least seven cases registered against him including cheating and attempt to murder.
“The gang also targets courier boys of jewelry Shops who carry huge quantities of gold. They pose as Crime Branch and CBI personnel and on the pretext of checking, rob them and flee,” said Bhisham Singh, DCP Crime branch.
(Zafar Abbas can be reached as firstname.lastname@example.org)