KARACHI: Mayor Karachi Wasim Akhtar’s official vehicle was snatched at gunpoint in the Defence area today, police said.
Meanwhile, DIG South has suspended station house officer of Darakhshan Police Station after the incident. He regretted that a criminal gang was relentlessly snatching vehicles in the city and police need to take strict against them.
In April this year, an eight-member gang of car thieves from Punjab was busted by the Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) in Karachi which arrested three of the group’s most active members including the one who had been convicted several times in cases related to vehicle snatching, theft and fraud in Faisalabad, Okara, Sheikhupura and Lahore districts.
The mayor, however, was not in the car when it was snatched by armed culprits in Khayaban-e-Bukhari in DHA. His chauffeur was driving the vehicle, a black Toyota Corolla, at the time of the incident. According to reports, the car bore registration number JS-999.
The gang had recently shifted to Karachi to evade apprehension by Punjab Police.
Using the practice of late registration of First Information Reports in vehicular theft cases by citizens to their advantage, the thieves used to take the vehicles to Punjab on original number plates, being confident that they won’t be caught by the law enforcement agencies. As many as five vehicles were recovered by police after their arrest.
The group, having found a living shelter in a shanty locality of Khamiso Goth, was mostly active in District Central and stole about 40 vehicles in the current year. The stolen vehicles were later sold in the southern belt of Punjab and Peshawar using fake documents.
Meanwhile, Akhtar is facing a NAB inquiry for alleged misuse of funds of Karachi.
Pakistan Tehreek-Insaf leader Faisal Vawda had filed a petition in the Sindh High Court in July showing concern over what he called “mismanagement of funds and corruption” in the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation under the elected mayor of Karachi. The Sindh government has also been nominated as a respondent in the petition.