LAHORE: The Organi­sed Crime Unit (OCU) of the Lahore police has said that a gang of robbers who allegedly looted members of the Sikh community in Gulberg a week ago, are citizens of a neighbouring country.

OCU SP Aftab Phularwan told Dawn on Tuesday that the police examined over 1,000 private cameras to trace the suspects who were living at a rented house in a private housing society near Raiwind and the landlord had not got his tenants/suspects registered with the local police station.

He said the OCU arrested the ringleader of the robbers’ gang, his wife and a cousin, who were “citizens of a neighbouring country”.

In reply to a question whether the suspects belonged to India, he said “not at all”, adding that it would not be wise to name the country.

Police officer calls robbery an individual act of criminals, rejects reports of their country’s role

The SP further said that it was an individual act of criminals and their country’s state or authorities were not involved in this act.

The criminals used to target foreigners and they had committed the street crime multiple times in Lahore, he said.

The SP further said that the suspects had looted Kawal Jeet Singh and his wife while they were shopping in Liberty Market a week ago.

Mr Singh was a senior politician and his wife was a former member of the Punjab Assembly in India, he said, adding that the robbers had deprived them of their cash and jewelry at gunpoint.

He said the Lahore CCPO assigned the task to the OCU (former Crime Investigation Agency) to trace the high-profile robbery case.

Mr Phularwan said that the OCU recovered from the suspects’ possession a wireless set, a 9MM pistol and the car they used in the crime against the

Sikh family.Requesting anonymity another police officer told Dawn that the criminals arrested by the OCU police were Persian speaking.

He said the suspects travelled to Karachi and almost reached there to finally flee to their native country after their crime in Lahore attracted the attention of Pakistani authorities, but OCU police traced the suspects through their mobile phone call records and arrested them.

The police officer lamented that all Safe City cameras installed on the roads the robbers used were not functioning.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2023

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