The truck with over 14,000 Redmi mobile phones was bound for Mumbai from a manufacturing unit in Chennai. “The gang followed the truck and waylaid it at Melumalai near Soolagiri on Chennai- Bengaluru National Highway around 2am. They intercepted the truck in their car, attacked the driver and cleaner, pulled them out and immobilised them by tying them with ropes before hijacking the mobile phone-laden vehicle,” said a senior police officer.
The driver identified as Arun, 26 from Coimbatore and Sathish Kumar, 29 from Chennai managed to free themselves with the help of the public and informed the police at Soolagiri station.
Following a search, the police found the truck abandoned along the roadside near Azaghumalai, more than 10km from the robbery spot. However, the gang had shifted the mobile consignments before fleeing. “The exact number of members in the gang couldn’t be ascertained, but they could be more than seven. Going by similar highway mobile robberies in the past, five incidents were reported in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka in recent times in a similar modus operandi. In all these incidents, the seasoned and notorious ‘Kanjar’ gang from Madhya Pradesh was involved. However, this is the first instance of a highway robbery targeting a cell phone consignment in Tamil Nadu,” said Bandi Gangadhar, SP, Krishnagiri district. Police said that they have got some vital clues and multiple special teams are looking at the CCTV images to track and nab the culprits.