One of India’s most notorious automobile thieves, Anil Chauhan, ran out of luck and was arrested by the Delhi police after a pursuit spanning over three months. The accused is the kingpin of an inter-state vehicle theft gang and is said to be involved in over 5,000 car theft cases.
The 52-year-old who hails from Tejpur, Assam, is also a big supplier of illegal arms and is involved in the smuggling of rhino horns in the North Eastern state. He is known for his lavish lifestyle with expensive clothes, gold bracelets and a villa worth Rs 10 crore.
Police said he would take flights from North Eastern states to the capital to commit thefts and then travel back. He would sell the stolen cars in Gangtok, parts of Assam, Nepal and other places with the help of around 30 associates. Police said he has three main receivers – in Assam, Nepal and Gangtok. He steals cars from Delhi, Noida and Meerut and takes them to his receivers. All cars are sold within a month or two to elude police.
According to the police, Chauhan had been previously arrested twice in his 27 years of criminal history. Shweta Chauhan, DCP (Central), said, “He was last arrested in January in Assam’s Dispur but got out on bail. As per records, he took to stealing in the early 1990s and has been arrested and convicted in many cases.”
“Teams were sent to Assam, Sikkim, Nepal and NCR to look for him. To evade arrest, he roams around in expensive cars and poses as a businessman or a government official. He was a contractor working with the Assam government and has sources there,” said an officer.
On August 23, police received a tipoff that Chauhan was in Delhi and is planning to commit more thefts with his associates. He was arrested under the jurisdiction of Deshbandhu road police station. One illegal country-made pistol, two live cartridges, and one stolen motorcycle were recovered from him. During the investigation, five more country-made pistols and a stolen car were recovered from him.
Chauhan is involved in over 181 cases and was declared a proclaimed offender by the court. The ED has seized his villa and other assets.
Chauhan has three wives and seven children, who left him after the ED raids and arrest. Police said two of the wives claimed they didn’t know about Chauhan’s criminal activities and believed he was a car dealer.