ISLAMABAD: A gang of gunmen set free a handcuffed auto-thief from police custody, police said on Thursday.

Public relations officer (PRO) for the capital police said that the man who was set free from police custody was an auto-thief. Besides this, he also involved in scores of vehicle fraud incidents, they added.

However, the PRO and officers concerned did not mention when and from where the man was arrested.

An official of the police said that the accused was involved in auto theft and fraud worth Rs1 billion in different parts of the country, including Punjab.

Over the escape, a case was registered against his accomplices at Noon police station. According to the first information report (FIR), the suspect was arrested in connection with a case registered at Banigala police station in response to a complaint lodged by Osama Qamar.

During interrogation, the suspect identified another man, resident of Sadiqbad Rawalpindi, as his accomplice, the FIR said, adding that in response, a team along with the suspect left for the arrest of the accomplice and when it reached I-14/3 at 1:30am, three riders of a car intercepted the police vehicle.

The riders set free their handcuffed accomplice from police custody and left in another vehicle. A police officer said that recovery of money and vehicles either stolen or taken away fraudulently by giving bogus pay orders is a tough task. The duration of the 14-day physical remand is not enough in such cases, he added.

It may be mentioned here that on July 14, a suspect was killed during an encounter with the police at Bhara Kahu and hours later, his accomplices set him free in a shootout at E-11.

On Sept 9, 2022, a suspect arrested in connection with 13 heinous crimes, was set free by his accomplices from police custody after an encounter at Ghauri Town. After a day, he was killed during an encounter with the police at G-16.

On July 6, 2022, a gang of culprits set free their three accomplices involved in auto-theft from police custody after an encounter at Sangjani. On July 30, 2022, gunmen set free a suspect of murder from police custody after an encounter at Koral when police took him for weapon recovery.

Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2023

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