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Gang selling stolen mobile phones in Tamil Nadu, Kerala busted

Bengaluru: Bannerghatta police in the Bengaluru Rural district has busted a gang that transported stolen phones to Tamil Nadu and Kerala for resale.

Police recovered 1,037 high-end mobile phones from different manufacturers and placed their estimated value at Rs 1 crore.

The four arrested — Mohammed Mamood Pasha alias Arif Pasha, Mohammed Umar, Iyan alias Alim Pasha, and Mohammed Salim — are all aged between 40 and 50.

Police arrested Arif and Umar on October 21 as “they were acting suspiciously” near the AMC Engineering College on Bannerghatta Road. They found the duo carrying 100 mobile phones in a carton.

Alim and Salim were arrested on October 26. They recovered 82 mobile phones from Salim and 185 from Alim. Police also found 770 mobile phones in a rented house in Hegde Nagar.

During police questioning, Arif, the alleged mastermind, confessed that Mohammed Iliyas, Mushtaq alias Mushti, Usman, Arif, Salman, Sahil, Mazar, Afsar from Goripalya, and Nazeer from Mysuru stole the phones by deceiving and tricking their victims near Bannerghatta National Park, Majestic, Shivajinagar, Jayanagar, MG Road and other crowded places and in BMTC buses, and sold the phone to him for Rs 2,000 or Rs 3,000.

“The accused then sent the stolen mobile phones to Kerala’s Manjeri and Tamil Nadu’s Chennai for reselling in private buses,” said BR Ravikanthe Gowda, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Central Range. “We also found that the proceeds of the crime were being transferred to their two accounts in ICICI bank.”

He said that the police will investigate as find how the large sums were used. The IGP added: “Our teams will be sent to Manjeri and Chennai for further investigations.”

Police found that some people in the neighbouring states received the phones, sold them, pocketed the commission, and transferred the remaining sum via bank accounts.

Arif had a prior case related to selling stolen mobile phones in Vidyaranyapura. “The background of the three other arrested is being verified,” Gowda said.

(Published 27 October 2023, 22:11 IST)

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