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Cellphone lifters in net

Two residents of Motihari were arrested on Tuesday for stealing around 100 cellphones from a shop in the state capital and smuggling some of them to Nepal and Bhutan.

A team, led by deputy superintendent of police (town) Manoj Kumar Tiwary, zeroed in on Jeetendra Kumar and Jeetendra Sah for the theft. Kumar was the kingpin of the 10-member gang that struck at several places earlier.

“Around 100 cellphones were stolen from Mahi Telecom, a shop on Ashok Rajpath on September 3. Only 50 were recovered from the duo,” Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Amrit Raj said.

The cost of the cellphones that have already been sold is said to be around Rs 2 lakh.

The gang of 10 thieves had broken the shutter of the shop to get inside. The closed-circuit TV camera footage revealed that the burglars had ransacked the shop and had stolen all the handsets.

“They have already sold many phones. We have recovered Nepali currency worth 1.97 lakh apart from Rs 20,000 from them. Kumar is said to be the kingpin of the gang. This is a first-of-its-kind case in Patna. We have never come across a case where a gang stole cellphones and smuggled them outside the country,” the officer said.

Apart from Nepal and Bhutan, the duo sold the cellphones in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

“Some handsets were sold in Bihar too. The arrested duo have revealed that they used to take advantage of the porous border and smuggle the phones with the help of agents. The probe would reveal their modus operandi,” the SSP said.

He said the duo sold cellphones in Nepal to a person called Ram. “The cost of the 50 mobile phones left with them is around Rs 5 lakh. The gang was trying to sell all the phones in Nepal. But the police learnt about it,” he said.