Sun. Nov 27th, 2022

Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA ‘safe haven’ for stolen cars

ISLAMABAD: The lifting of precious vehicles from the federal capital and selling these to gangs based in tribal areas, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan on almost half price, under the alleged patronage of Islamabad police, has been revealed.

In some cases , the car lifters in the federal capital contact form ten per cent people of the deprived citizens that their car could be returned to them if they would pay ransom for it.

The sources told Daily Times that few years ago, on the special instruction of the interior ministry, an Anti Car Lifting Cell(ACLC) was formed under the CIA Police to check the increasing incidents of vehicle theft in the city. However since its inception, the performance of the cell has been very disappointing. The sources also said that the high-ups of Islamabad police received some evidences that some of their own staff were directly involved in conveying the stolen vehicles to tribal areas on which disciplinary action was also taken against those corrupt officials.

The sources said that the cars, which are snatched during banditries are taken to some secret warehouse in the city before taking the same to FATA, where their number plate is replaced and if deemed necessary, the colour of the vehicle is also changed.

The sources told this reporter that an incident took place some years ago, when a citizen lodged the complaint of his car theft at the police station Margalla, but the very next day the investigation officer offered him that he can get his car back if he would give him Rs 150,000 as bribe. When the owner of the car fulfilled his demand he took him to the basement of a bungalow located at the posh sector of Islamabad, F/8, where almost 30 cars were parked. Two security guards were deployed there. The applicant’s car was not there due to which the deal was cancelled.

The incident showed that the police official knew that almost 30 stolen vehicles were in the house but the police did not take any action. Actually this was a ware house where the number plate, colour and physical appearance of the lifted vehicles is totally changed and then the car is conveyed to tribal areas for sale, where the gangs, which deal with the stolen cars buy these vehicle at almost 35 to 50 per cent less value.

When Daily Times contacted the in charge ACLC, Sub Inspector Liaquat, he said that a total of 248 cars were stolen from Islamabad in 2016, out of which some 110 vehicles were recovered and about 72 car lifters were apprehended during the calendar year.

Whereas in 2015 some 369 cars were lifted from the city Similarly, in 2014 766 cars were stolen. So keeping these figures in view, the police has controlled the car lifting incidents. He said that more or less all car lifters take the stolen vehicles to Sawabi, Mardan, Charsada and Malakand.

He told this scribe that at present there are 26 officers and constables deputed in the ACLC.


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