The Detective Branch of police has arrested six members of a gang of pickpockets and muggers who operate in Saudi Arabia, especially during Hajj, to rob pilgrims.
The 12-member gang used to mug people in Bangladesh during 10 months of a year and would go to Makkah – in the guise of pilgrims – for the two months of Hajj.
There they would mug and steal foreign currencies from pilgrims from all over the world.
The gang would come back with a good amount of money from Saudi Arabia, said Maharam Ali, additional deputy commissioner of the DMP’s Detective Branch.
While in country, the members of the gang would steal from the relatives of expatriates waiting at the Dhaka airport, Maharam told The Business Standard.
The DB on Saturday arrested leader Masudul Haque Apel, 42, along with six members of his gang – Sumon Bhuiyan Soma, 36, Ruhul Kuddus, 48, Labu Mia, 32, Jahidul Islam Jahid, 28, Dulal Molla, 50, from Golchattar area under the Airport police station.
They also recovered blades and different types of medicine to make people unconscious from their possession.
ADC Maharam said the arrested gang members have confessed that they used to go to Saudi Arabia for two months to rob pilgrims every year until 2013.
They tried to go to Makkah this year, too, but failed.
Apel told the police that Saudi police had arrested him in 2008 with foreign currency worth Tk24 lakh; he returned after serving a three-month jail term and made a new passport.
According to the authorities concerned, the 12-member gang is presently active in the capital.
Officials concerned said each gang member would make Tk10-15 lakh by pickpocketing pilgrims at Makkah.
The arrestees disclosed the names of the absconding six members of the gang to the law enforcers.
A case has been filed with the Airport police station in this connection, said police.
Apel had previously worked as a porter in the capital’s airport area for 10-12 years. He gradually got involved with the members of different mugging and pickpocketing gangs and in a few years made his own gang.
Apel hired people to make good relation with the family members and relatives of expatriates to loot them later.