Following up on months of investigations across the country, the Jaipur and Howrah police on Wednesday arrested three persons and discovered that racketteers have regularised the registration of 500 vehicles stolen from other states with forged documents.
Jaipur’s inspector-general of police (crime) M.L. Sharma said a joint team of Rajasthan and Howrah police arrested three touts — Ranjit Halder, Syed Mohammad and Swapan Banerjee — from Calcutta and its suburbs in a nightlong operation since Tuesday. Deputy superintendent Prahlad Singh of Jaipur police, who had been camping in the city for the past two weeks, led the operation.
Howrah superintendent of police (SP) Rajesh Kumar, who was monitoring the investigations and raids, said the arrested trio has revealed names of three senior officers of the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) in Alipore, who helped them regularise the registration of the stolen vehicles.
Quoting from investigations, Sharma said the arrested persons were a part of a 200-member, nationwide gang of criminals, stealing vehicles from different parts of the country and then regularising documents from RTA’s office with the help of forged documents.
“We have records to indicate how hundreds of stolen vehicles were regularised from transport department offices in and around Calcutta over the past year,’’ said Jaipur superintendent of police Sanjay Agarwal.
Elaborating on the modus operandi of the gang, Jaipur deputy superintendent Singh said the touts would bring the stolen vehicles to the city and park them in select garages. They would then get in touch with their contacts in the transport department and apply for a change in the registration documents.
According to motor vehicles rules, those applying for inter-state registration have to obtain a no-objection certificate from the RTA office where the car was orginally registered. Citing an instance, police said if a vehicle with a Jaipur registration seeks a transfer of documents here, the RTA, Alipore, will have seek a no-objection certificate from the Jaipur RTA office before regularising the documents. “This ensures that the vehicle is not stolen and has complied with motor vehicle rules and regulations,’’ Howrah SP Kumar said.
The Jaipur police have seized 10 stolen vehicles from Howrah and its adjoining areas.