Fake detectives on the prowl
People may confuse them with real detectives as they wear vests similar to those used by law enforcers, use walkie-talkies and have firearms.
They target people coming out of banks or financial institutions with large amounts. People getting robbed by such gangs of fake detectives have become all too common.
In separate drives in the last two days, the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police arrested 16 people of two such gangs.
Nine of them were captured in the city's Banasree area around 1:10am yesterday when they were preparing to rob people. Seven others were arrested at a road near Sheraton intersection around 6:25pm Friday, DB Joint Commissioner Abdul Baten told a press briefing at the DMP Media Centre yesterday.
The arrestees are: Jewel Rana, Yasin, Badal, Momen Ali, Shahidul Islam, Firoz, Syed Moniruzzaman, Mohammad Ali, Sabuj, Liton Khan, Bablu Miah alias Akash, Monir Hossain (1), Saidur Rahman, Monir Hossian (2), Mahmudul Hasan alias Munna, Afzal Hossain alias Shahin.
The joint commissioner said no policemen were found to be involved with the gang.
According to a DMP press release, one foreign-made pistol, a magazine, two bullets, two machetes, four knives, a walkie-talkie set, three DB jackets, two pairs of handcuffs, two truncheons, a bag and two DB stickers were recovered from the possession of those arrested in Banasree area. Two cars and a microbus were also seized.
Two toy pistols, a walkie-talkie set, a pair of handcuffs, 17 unused prepaid mobile phone SIM cards, seven mobile phones, an army jacket, a truncheon, a pair of boots, three flash drives and an iron rod were recovered from the possession of the ones arrested on Friday. A microbus was also seized, said the press release.
Asked how the suspects got the recovered items, Baten said there are markets in the city where such items are sold. Those items are sold by maintaining certain procedures. “There might be some people helping them collect these things.”
Earlier, law enforcers took actions against some shop owners in the city's Polwell Market where police uniforms are sold, he said.
Replying to a query about how people are to identify real detectives, Baten said, “It is actually tough to identify ... But if any policeman is found involved, action will be taken against him.”
The senior DB official said the drives were conducted as part of checking criminal activities like mugging, robbery and theft in the capital ahead of and during the month of Ramadan.
Police claim that the incidents of abduction carried out by criminals posing as DB are actually committed by such fake detectives. At least eight such gangs have been arrested in the last one year.
On May 12, 2015, a group of men impersonating DB members abducted a garment official in broad daylight in Gazipur. They took Tk 1,50,000, mobile phones and other possession before leaving him in a jungle there.
The garment official was returning home after withdrawing Tk 1,44,000 from a bank branch in Maona around 11:00am.