From student to ringleader
We have found six to seven cases against each of them. They were arrested a number of times before, but after securing bail, they would go back to the life of crime.
Back in 1996, Lokman Hakim alias Liton was still a student. But early on in life, he had a brush with law, when he abducted a girl.
Following the incident, the girl's family filed a case with Gopalganj Sadar Police Station against him and some of his friends. He was then arrested and sent behind bars for three months.
During his stay in jail, however, Lokman got in touch with some local robbers, and using his connections, got involved in the crime.
At some point in the last two decades, Lokman became the ringleader of an inter-district gang of robbers.
Detective Branch (Tejgaon Division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Madaripur District Police in separate drives managed to arrest around 12 members of the gang, including Lokman, from the capital's Mohammadpur and Madaripur.
Investigators said the gang was planning to rob an agricultural bank's Tungipara branch and a temple. They used to move around as auto-rickshaw drivers in rural areas to avoid law enforcers.
The gang has a regional leader, Golam Mostofa Rashel, superintendent of police in Madaripur, told The Daily Star yesterday.
"We have managed to arrest eight members [in Madaripur], including the south region's leader Md Monir. They recently robbed two residences in Madaripur, in the guise of auto-rickshaw drivers," said Rashel.
All the arrestees are now in jail.
"During interrogation, we came to know that Monir has been involved in robberies for a decade. We have found six to seven cases against each of them. They were arrested a number of times before, but after securing bail, they would go back to the life of crime," said the SP.
The gang even robbed two places in Keraniganj, and their latest plan was to start robbing locations beside river routes, he added.
Meanwhile, DB arrested Lokman and three of his associates from Mohammadpur on Tuesday.
During interrogation, Lokman said after completing his education from a madrasa in Gopalganj, he joined as a teacher.
Lokman's gang has strongholds in Manikganj, Gopalganj, Rajbari, Madaripur and Faridpur.
Detectives said they got information about Lokman and the others from those arrested by Madaripur police.
Investigators said Lokman is accused in two cases filed with Gopalganj Sadar Police Station, two with Mokshedpur Police Station and one with Shibchar Police Station.
Shahadat Hossain Sumon, additional deputy commissioner of DB, said they have found that every gang member is accused in several cases, some of them being for murder.
"We have got some information about their offences. We are now verifying those to trace the absconding members," he added.