Airport theft gang nabbed in Mumbai

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 19, 2013 10:25 hrs

New Delhi/Mumbai: A notorious gang which had conducted alleged thefts across seven airports in the country has been nabbed in Mumbai after they escaped police for over half an year.

The three middle-aged men -- Dodde Gowda Dwarkesh Kurba, Ushakanth Janardan Sonwane and Chandra Shankar, were also facing a non-bailable arrest warrant from a Hyderabad court in connection with a theft case.

Intelligence teams of the CISF at multiple airports, which guards country's civil airports, were tracking these men since they were captured on CCTV last year and again in March 2013 when they allegedly stole Rs one lakh from a fliers bag at Mumbai airport.

The trio were found involved in theft of cash from passenger baggages in September and October 2012 and this was confirmed through CCTV footage too.

"Acting on intelligence inputs it came to light that all three would be travelling today from Mumbai to Ahmedabad and hence the airport security at Mumbai was alerted.

"They were arrested today morning when they came to board the flight," Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) spokesperson Hemendra Singh said in Delhi.

The gang had a perfect modus operandi as they would only book their tickets over counter to avoid leaving any transaction trail or e-mail ID.

"They would then position themselves behind the unsuspecting passenger as they waited for their baggage in baggage claim area or checking counter.

One of them would open the bag and remove the cash hiding behind the other two.

Thereafter, they changed their appearance by putting on a jacket over their shirt," the spokesperson said.

The gang, the spokesperson added, accepted their involvement in several thefts committed at Goa, Bangalore, Jaipur, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Nagpur and Mumbai airports.

The trio would now be questioned in detail by police, he added.

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