Imagine two situations. First: You are riding any motorcyle and encounter robbers. Second: you are riding a Honda CG 125 (read “one two five”) and encounter robbers.
In the first situation, if you’re lucky, you’ll only lose your cellphone and money. But, in the second situation, you will lose your cellphone, money and your one-two-five.
There is a special love for the 125 among bikers in Pakistan. Some say it’s the peculiar sound of its exhaust, while for others, the charm lies in its shiny silver mudguards.
Whatever the reason, 125 as they say, “is the ultimate bike.”
But, talk about owning one, and even the most ardent of 125 lovers will flinch and have second thoughts. There is a reason for this.
The robbers have a sweet tooth for this two-wheel ride. Even though it is not the most expensive bike on the market, robbers have a proclivity for the 125 because of its make, speed and resale value.
What happens to your 125 after it is snatched
Making a 125 vanish without a trace and shipping it out of Karachi is an elaborate business. The Karachi Police was able to uncover one such group after the District Central police launched a secret operation, filming the entire process, from the bike’s snatching to its sale.
Senior Superintendent (SSP) District Central Ghulam Murtaza Tabassum told SAMAA Digital that the operation was conducted by the Shahrah-e-Noor Jehan police. According to him, a police informer tipped them off that an inter-provincial gang of robbers, in connivance with transporters, is using public transport to move the two-wheelers out of the city.
The police arrested the gang and seized their weapons and bolt cutters. The gang’s linchpin is Zahid, while the name of other members are Saqib Qureshi, Umair Haji, and Razzak.
A network spanning four cities and three provinces
According to the SSP, this network is spread across four cities in three provinces.
The action begins in Karachi. After the bike is nicked, it is parked at a hospital’s parking lot. The gang waits a few days for the heat to subside. Then, the motorbike is taken to a bus stand where it is loaded on a bus and moved out of the city.
SSP Tabssum said that the next stop for this motorbike is Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab.
One must wonder how a stolen motorcycle passes through the long line of police, rangers, and check posts on the inter-state highway.
The secret lies in a forged NOC issued by transporters. This NOC means that the motorbike was booked by the owner and works as a pass on these check posts.
The entire trip cost a robber Rs8000.
The motorbikes stolen from Karachi and Sindh are transported via Kashmore to Rakhni, a small town on the Balochistan-Punjab border.
This town of few hundred people has a market where only stolen two-wheelers are sold. Wedho and Yaaro, are two notorious traders of stolen motorbikes who run this illicit trade in Balochistan.
In this market, robbers can get as much as Rs40,000 for a jacked motorbike without any question being asked. The money is then wired through mobile phone wallet accounts. With this, the motorbike’s fate is sealed and it’s gone for good.
How many motorbikes have been robbed in Karachi in 2021?
This year, 85% or more Karachi people were deprived of their two-wheelers than 2020. In the first ten months of 2020, 2,023 motorbikes were snatched while a whopping 28,827 were stolen. In 2021, the number is 3,759 and 39,383 respectively.
Here is a month-wise breakdown of snatched and stolen motorbikes in 2020 and 2021:
|Month||Motorbikes snatched||Motorbikes stolen||Motorbikes snatched||Motorbikes stolen|