Mobile Snatching Gangs Rule the Streets: Islamabad and Rawalpindi Beware

Avatar admin | March 5, 2023

Mobile Snatching Gangs Rule the Streets: Islamabad and Rawalpindi Beware

Mobile Snatching Gangs Rule the Streets: Islamabad and Rawalpindi Beware

Mobile phone snatching has become a major concern for the citizens of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, with over 1,000 mobile phones being snatched every day in the twin cities. The snatching gangs are fearless and operate in both commercial and residential areas, targeting pedestrians and riders. The snatchers on motorcycles swoop down on their targets, snatch their mobile phones in a matter of seconds, and disappear from the scene.

Unfortunately, mobile phone snatching has turned from a minor street crime to an organized felony being controlled and run by mafias, rather than individuals. These gangs comprise thousands of professional phone snatchers who allegedly work under the supervision of police, social personalities, political stouts, and IT experts to clear IMEI identity numbers before smuggling them out to Afghanistan and other crime-generating countries.

The mafia chiefs have segregated the major and minor cities according to their significance. Rawalpindi and Islamabad have become the biggest markets for dealing with snatched mobile phones. The mafias, who were previously involved in carjacking and drug businesses, have now shifted to the mobile snatching trade.

Although the police claim that they have overpowered the rising trend of mobile snatching, they are least interested in taking it as a serious crime and deny registering first information reports (FIR) on the offense. Instead, they brush off the case by issuing an e-receipt as FIR, which precisely indicates the involvement of the area police in mobile snatching offenses.

Drug smuggling and dealing, vehicle lifting, and extorting ransom were the most lucrative crimes for criminal mafias in the past. However, the rising trend of mobile phone snatching has become their new focus. The police and other law enforcement agencies have failed to foil bids to smuggle snatched and stolen mobile phones to Afghanistan.

The criminal magnates took advantage of the neglected attitude and lack of interest in mobile phone snatching offenses, took control of the situation, and established organized crime in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The police receive a complaint of phone, sometimes after every three minutes a day. Not less than 1,000 mobile phones are snatched from different areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad every day.

The mobile phones blocked by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) either on complaints of victims or at the request of police investigators are being smuggled to Afghanistan, where the IMEI is changed by IT experts to unlock the phones. The gangs got a proper training in snatching valuable phone sets with or without arms, targeting the affluent people to snatch iPhones, operating in posh localities Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

The gangsters have direct links with Afghan smugglers to easily transport their consignment to Afghanistan. The snatched mobile phones are smuggled to Afghanistan through the Torkham border, where there is no proper checking of people crossing the border by the border security forces. Unfortunately, there is no close coordination or liaison between Rawalpindi, Islamabad, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police to bust the gangs involved in the smuggling of stolen mobiles to Afghanistan.

Consequently, citizens of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, whose precious cell phones were snatched by dacoits at gunpoint, are running from pillar to post to get their iPhones recovered by the police despite the registration of FIRs with concerned police stations. The situation is dire, and urgent action is needed to curb the rising trend of mobile phone snatching in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

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