The police in Malappuram and Kozhikode districts have enhanced vigil and launched a hunt for the kingpins of gangs involved in robbing passengers reaching the Calicut International Airport from the Gulf.
Passengers who reached the airport at night were allegedly robbed of cash and gold in three incidents in recent weeks. The robbery took place during their transit from Karipur to Kozhikode by autorickshaw.
The latest incident was in the early hours of Friday when two passengers from Uduma, Kasaragod, were allegedly abducted and robbed of cash and gold near Ramanattukara. The passengers, Abdul Sattar and Santhosh, were waylaid and abducted in a car while they were travelling in an autorickshaw. A case was registered at the Feroke police station.
The police said a gang took them to an unknown destination and robbed them of cash and seven sovereigns of gold. District Police Chief U. Abdul Kareem said it must have been a case of mistaken identity. The robbers reportedly mistook the passengers for gold carriers. They were beaten up when the gang realised that they were not carriers.
We have strengthened vigil and have plugged all routes out of Karipur. We have put up special night checks on roads leading out of Karipur, said Mr. Kareem.
In the second incident on Sunday morning, a passenger from Dakshin Kannada, Abdul Nazar Shamshad, was allegedly abducted and robbed. He was taken to Tanur and was stripped and beaten up.
Mr. Kareem said one person was arrested in connection with the robbery. We are gathering information about the gangs involved in robbing gold and hawala carriers. We are closing in on the kingpins, he added.
Meanwhile, the Kottakkal police arrested two men who allegedly attempted to rob hawala cash worth 3.25 crore which was being transported in an autorickshaw. The two men chased the vehicle and pushed the driver out and tried to escape with the cash. The vehicle overturned at Valiyaparamba near Kottakkal, and local residents handed over the men to the police.
Black money worth around 50 lakh was seized at Vengara on Friday. The police said the smuggling of gold and black money had increased in recent times.