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'Auctioned' Kids Taught to Steal Gold and Gifts at Weddings, Racket Busted

Police have arrested a man who allegedly runs a gang which used to engage minors, who were "auctioned" in Madhya Pradesh, for lifting bags from marriage functions held at farm houses here.

PTI

Updated:July 3, 2017, 8:31 AM IST
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'Auctioned' Kids Taught to Steal Gold and Gifts at Weddings, Racket Busted
Minors between 9-15 years of age were reportedly auctioned in Madhya Pradesh and trained in committing thefts at marriage functions. (Representative image/Reuters)

New Delhi: Police have arrested a man who allegedly runs a gang which used to engage minors, who were "auctioned" in Madhya Pradesh, for lifting bags from marriage functions held at farm houses here. Raka, 32, hails from Madhya Pradesh and was arrested on Saturday from his rented house here.

During interrogation, he revealed that his gang used to employ the minors who were "auctioned" in Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh, police said. They said Rs 4 lakh in cash, jewellery and other gift articles worth Rs 8 lakh given by guests at marriage functions have also been recovered at his instance.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (south-west) Surender Kumar said that during investigation, it was found the gang used to target farm houses and banquet halls. He claimed that during interrogation, Raka allegedly admitted his involvement in the crime along with his other associates, including two juveniles.

"He revealed that minors between 9-15 years of age are auctioned in their area (in Madhya Pradesh) on the basis of their potential and intelligence. The bid sometimes crosses Rs 10 lakh for a kid," the police claimed. The minors were thereafter trained in committing thefts at marriage functions and on how to behave with the people at the venue, they said.

"He (minor) is also made mentally and physically tough not to divulge his identity and that of his gang members' in case he is arrested red-handed. He is also instructed to put on good clothes to attend marriage functions and to have snacks with others invitees to dispel any suspicion," the police claimed.

They said a businessman filed a complaint last month that his briefcase containing cash, gold and silver jewellery, wrist watch and other gift items was stolen from his daughter's marriage function at Bijwasan here. It said that similar incidents were also reported from other marriage functions in Delhi. The incident reported by the businessman was captured in CCTV cameras installed at the marriage venue.

The police said that after analysing the CCTV footage and video recording of the venue, it was found that three persons, including two juveniles, were involved in this case. "They were never in a hurry, had their dinner there and patiently waited for the opportune time to strike. They dressed like those attending the marriage party. After entering the venue, they mingled with the crowd and targeted the person keeping the cash," it said.

The police alleged that the gang also comprises adult men and women who used to drop these minors at function venue. They said that further probe in the matter was going on and efforts were on to nab other accused, including those who were involved in "auctioning" of minor and earning money by pushing them in crime.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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