An alleged auto-lifter who had undergone plastic surgery in order to hide his identity and evade arrest was finally nabbed by the Delhi Police on October 13 near Nehru Place. The 35-year-old accused was identified as Kunal alias Sanjay alias Rahul alias Vijay alias Tanuj Kumar Mehta. He headed a gang that targeted expensive cars, reported the Indian Express. Police said in 2012, he underwent plastic surgery to evade arrest.
Romil Baaniya, the DCP (southeast) said that before the surgery, Kunal went by the name of Tanuj. He also told that the accused has previously been involved in over 62 cases of auto-lifting in Delhi and the neighbouring states. The DCP added, Kunal possessed firearms and had a history of firing at police personnel. Kunal also disclosed the names of two of his associates during questioning, Baaniya said. He revealed the name of his partners – Irshad and Mohammad Shadab – who were arrested from Ghaziabad.
A police officer told about Kunal’s method of working. He said that the accused use to locate vehicles of a particular make and colour that were declared as ‘total loss’ by insurance companies. The gang then use to purchase these vehicles along with documents at a higher rate from the scrap dealers. The officer was quoted by the Indian Express as saying, “While the ‘total loss’ vehicle is disposed of as scrap, the documents of the vehicles were retained. In the next step, the gang members targeted a vehicle of similar make and colour. They would then steal the targeted vehicle and a team of forgers would alter the original engine and chassis number to that of the ‘total loss’ vehicle.”