DIMAPUR, May 26 � Three members of an armed gang involved in kidnapping and snatching of vehicles were apprehended by the Special Operations Team (SOT), Dimapur Police, on May 22. The modus operandi of the gang was to take away the vehicles after kidnapping the drivers and occupants at gunpoint.
A police statement said SOT personnel, while performing surveillance around the town on May 22 evening, intercepted a suspicious Maruti Esteem car bearing registration NL-07-8495 after giving a chase near the PWD junction here.
On checking the vehicle and the occupants, the police recovered one pistol with four .22 live ammunition, two fake currency notes of Rs 500 denomination, two master keys, a knife, screwdriver and steel ruler which were allegedly used in their operation of vehicle theft.
The three accused have been identified as Kihovi Awomi alias Akato of Kiyeto village and presently a resident of Purana Bazar, Renthungo Ngullie alias Aben of New Tisori village and a resident of Sewak colony and Ritu Das alias Depen Gogoi of Golaghat in Assam.
Interrogation of the three accused revealed that they were involved in the kidnapping and snatching of a Tata Mobile pickup van at gunpoint on May 20 from Murgipati.
The Tata Mobile (NL-07-A-4736) was reportedly snatched at around 11.30 pm by the three accused along with two others, identified as Athing and Simon, who are still absconding. Police said the driver and his companion were kidnapped and taken towards Shokuvi where they were abandoned with their hands and feet tied before the thieves escaped with the vehicle. The driver and his companion managed to free themselves after some struggle and made it back to Dimapur on foot the next morning.
The stolen vehicle was then reportedly taken to Maram in Manipur by accused Athing and Simon to dispose it off to interested customers.
The three accused are also reported to have admitted to stealing a number of other vehicles, including Boleros and Tata Mobiles, from Dimapur town on other occasions.
A case has been registered and investigation is on to recover the stolen vehicles and arrest the other accused involved in the crime, Police said.