LAHORE - The police Monday claimed to have smashed five gangs of criminals, including two dacoits of Goonga gang.

12 dacoits involved in several armed robberies and street crimes have been arrested and the police have seized cash, vehicles, and valuables worth four million rupees from their possession.

The arrests were confirmed by senior police officers at a joint news conference in Lahore where a massive clampdown have been imitated against the gangsters involved in street crimes.

“We have arrested 12 members of four gangs of criminals. Surely, the crackdown will bring down the crime rate in the provincial metropolis since we are expecting more arrests of most-wanted bandits,” SP (Operations) Civil Lines Haroon Rashid and SP (Investigations) Faisal Mukhtar said during a news conference at Mughalpura police station.

“No less than 21 cases of armed robberies have been traced in which they were involved.” SP Haroon Rashid said and added the police are widening crackdown against the criminals by deploying additional police force in the crime-prone localities.

Responding to a question, SP Faisal Mukhtar said the police investigators were grilling the accused in connection with armed robberies reported by police in the recent past.

He also claimed that the investigators are directed to complete the investigations and submit challans to the courts on time so that such criminals could be brought to justice.

The Ghaziabad police arrested two dacoits of Gonga dacoit gang including its ringleader Abubakar alias Gonga and recovered looted cash, gold ornaments, and other valuables worth Rs 500,000 from them.

During a press conference at Ghaziabad police station, SP (Investigations) Cantonment Ismail Kharak said the police are conducting raids to arrest the third accomplice of the bandits. “They have history in violent crimes. They had stabbed a housewife with a dagger as she tried to fight off robbery attempt.”

The arrested bandits were identified as Abubakar and Tanveer Hussain. Both the accused are said to be hearing-impaired. Further investigation is underway.

The police also produced at least 10 handcuffed accused before the media crews during the press conference. They were identified as the members of Mansoor alias Helicopter dacoits’ gang, Amir car-snatcher gang, Nauman alias Nomi dacoits’ gang, and Arif alias Mitha thieves’ gang.

The police investigators have seized two cars, seven motorcycles, 13 mobile phones, four bicycles, one TV set, and seven pistols and several bullets worth Rs 3.8 million from their possession.

A police spokesperson told the Nation that the field officers are ordered to step up raids against the criminals and “several special squads are constituted for this reason.”

The divisional police officers are supervising the crackdown launched on the orders of DIG (Operations) Dr Haider Ashraf to make Lahore a “street-crime-free” capital.

According to the spokesperson, the police intensified the crackdown in Lahore last week after observing a sudden rise in armed robberies. Dozens of dacoits’ gangs are actively operating in the provincial metropolis where they rob families and motorists at gunpoint by using motorcycles.

The armed patrolling has also been intensified around the important markets and commercial centers across Lahore in a bid to ensure quick police response in cases of armed robberies.