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In between chemo sessions, cancer patient in Delhi runs an army of car thieves Health News, ET HealthWorld

NEW DELHI: Ashu was lying in the intensive care unit of a Paschim Vihar hospital, not only managing his chemotherapy sessions but also coordinating a business that involved stealing vehicles and dismantling them in workshops.

The cops found that he accepted the offers of suppliers for cars of various makes and models. The thieves conveyed information about the location where the car was left after it was stolen and the receivers picked it up from there and took it for dismantling.

The vehicle was brought to the godown, where it was dismantled in three hours. Initial police investigation suggests that the stolen SUVs were purchased for Rs 2-4 lakh, and after dismantling the parts would earn Ashu and his gang Rs 5-6 lakh. Ashu gave Lucky Rs 20,000 and Rs 5,000 to each worker and Rs 2,000 per trip to the car transporter.

Police have arrested four people from a shed in Makhmelpur village in Alipur being run by Ashu and his cousin, Lucky, where SUVs and high-end cars were dismantled. They used to dismantle the car around 3 and 4am.

It was in 2018-19 that Ashu alias Ashish, a native of Jhajjar in Haryana and son of a farmer, learned about his cancer. “At the time, he stole cars for liquor smuggling. He came in contact with car thieves who told him about the profit possibilities in dismantling vehicles,” an investigator revealed. The money generated through the crime was being used partly to fund Ashu’s treatment, the cost of which was around Rs 1 lakh a day.

Another police officer said it is possible Ashu joined the gang to learn about the tricks of the trade. “We have not questioned him as his condition is critical,” the officer said. He said that Ashu was running the syndicate through phone. “Suppliers called him with descriptions. Once a vehicle was stolen, one of the thieves called Ashu to tell him where the car was parked with the keys. Ashu then asked his cousin to go and collect the vehicle. He often used Lucky’s phone to talk to thieves,” the officer said.

In search of people for the dismantling work, Lucky visited Mayapuri every week. The godown in Makhmelpur village had been taken on rent in November around the same time as he was admitted to a private hospital in Paschim Vihar. “The accused wanted to live a lavish lifestyle,” said a police officer. “We have also found that the accused had taken a loan for his treatment. So far, we have found he paid his bills through card and cash. The cops will also ask the hospital to share details about transactions and have sent a team to other States to investigate.

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