His 22-year streak comes to an end
A man, who has stolen ready-made garment products from thousands of trucks in the last two and a half decades, was arrested with 10 of his gang members, detectives told a press conference yesterday.
Since 1998, Shahed, known in his circles as Sylheti Sayeed, has stolen garment products from over 5,000 trucks and lorries.
The gang pulled off the robberies with the help of lorry drivers of shipping companies who received a cut.
Around 24 cases were filed against him over the years, said AKM Hafiz Akter, additional commissioner of Detective Branch of police.
Last year, Shahed got arrested and was in jail for eight months in six cases filed in Chattogram. But he returned to the world of crime soon after he was released on bail, said Hafiz.
Shahed owns a two-story building, a brick kiln and several trucks in Moulvibazar, the officer said, adding that he has two wives.
On September 15, about 5,000 pieces of garment products belonging to Network Clothing Limited went missing from a shipment supposed to go to Germany.
A case was then filed with Tejgaon Industrial Police Station in Dhaka.
Detective Branch officers this week arrested Shahed and 10 others in raids in Cumilla and Dhaka and recovered 4,725 dresses from their possession, he said.
The gang was also behind a theft of 11,000 pieces of clothes from a shipment Jayanti Knitwear Limited was sending to the UK on May 11.
A case was filed regarding that incident on September 12.
The buyers penalised Jayanti Knitwear $28,908 for the missing products.
Such thefts are tarnishing the country's image, said Hafiz Akter.
In primary interrogation, Shahed admitted that he stole from 5,000 trucks and lorries.
A Dhaka court yesterday placed him on a one-day remand while two of the other arrestees, Abdur Razzaq and Imran Khan, made confessional statements in the court.
The others were sent to jail.
Shahadat Hossain Sumon, additional deputy commissioner of DB, said garment factories usually outsource the job of shipping goods to Chattogram port.
"On the way, these trucks stops at a warehouse in Cumilla where the gang members take out several products from every pack on the truck and then reseal the packs," Shahadat told The Daily Star.
The robberies weren't detected until the shipment reached the buyers abroad, he said.
The gang used to sell the goods to local buyers who later shipped them abroad, said the ADC, adding that officers now know the names of 40 individuals, including the local buyers who will be arrested soon.
In his confession, lorry driver Imran said he was given Tk 15,000 by the gang on May 11 for stopping the lorry full of garment products at a warehouse in the capital's Matuail and allowing the robbers to steal.