Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Yellow Gate Scam !

I am still reeling from the shock of having my car stolen. But more than that I am upset because of the treachery of Motor Vehicle Unit of the Crime Branch at Yellow Gate. I handed over to them vital information and clues which was enough to nab this criminal.  It cost me lot of money to get these clues -- the thieves had used my stolen cards to the tune of Rs 20000 before we got Nashrat's bank information.

They did not try to get the bank statement, photograph or follow up on the leads. Instead of  starting an investigation  they promptly alerted the criminal by blocking his  account and posting a warning about police inquiry.

Watching his account without disturbing it would have been the logical way to conduct the investigation and API Chavan was on right track. Now there is not much API Chavan can do.

Nashrat has since fled to his village in UP, where he is safe from Mumbai Police.

I think it was my biggest blunder -- going to Arun Chavan, who introduced me to API Gharate. I blame these corrupt officers for the loss of my car more than Nashrat. Surely Nashrat is the thief, but he  is stealing hundreds of Mumbai vehicles because the protection of these cops.

If your car is stolen,  stay clear of  Yellowgate Police, especially be wary of API Gharate and API Koketkar.

His ICICI account receives close to 4 lacs  per month through cash deposits from all over North India. This is definitely not the only account he has. By a rough estimate his income  is not less than Rs. 10 lacs per month. This is only 10% of the value of the stolen vehicles because he gets may be 1 to 1.5 lacs per SUV and around 70k  or less for cars.  On an average 10 vehicles are stolen every month by this gang alone -- that comes to more than 100 vehicles in a year. At an average cost Rs 10 lacs, this criminal is causing a loss of Rs 10 crores to the city. Well, it can't go on like this without paying a hafta to the police.

IMHO the MV unit should be closed and all the officers fired. They are making it easier for the car thieves.

I approached the Police HQ again to register my protest with the Joint CP crime. He was livid. He called Gharate and gave him a dressing down and directed me to API Dafle.

API Dafle was polite - offered me tea. He told me stories from his experiences in UP. Seems the cops there never cooperate visiting officers. They protect the fugitives and later take a cut from them. Gangsters like Nashrat will be never be caught in UP.

Dafle is taking the CDR of Nashrat's number. If you remember, we had previously taken the CDR of the  IMEI we got from MARU Nx and  we came up with an Airtel Number. He has requested the  CDR of this number for last three months.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Constable Mali Tells A Tale.

Constable Mali is a renegade, who has been kicked out of Chavan's team. Nevertheless he is very much interested in the affairs of the detection team. He keeps his ear to ground.

He is quite friendly to me, though I am a little wary of him. He claims to have a direct link to Prathabh Garh, UP.

It is Mali  who seems to have the current information on Nashrat. According to him Nashrat is at his village. He suggests a team should be sent to UP to nab him. API Chavan is derisive. Chavan tells me to take Mali's  information with a large pinch of salt.

Yesterday night Mali calls me in the office and asks me a strange question. Was I at Coffee Day near Don Bosco, Matunga on the night of the incident? I was, but this is not known to anyone except me. I had not mentioned it because this was about  an hour before the vehicle was stolen. Well I am all ears now. Mali tells me that Nashrat was following me and had parked his vehicle next to the Pajero at Don Bosco. While I was at Coffee Day,  Nashrat pulled out the lock from rear door of the Pajero. There sitting in his vehicle, he prepared a duplicate  key. When I left he was right behind me. Then it was the work of an instant for him to heist the vehicle when I had parked at a friend's house about 30 minutes later.

That explains why the vehicle vanished in 15 minutes.

I am speechless. This has to be true. But how did Mali get this information?  He had to get it from Nashrat himself. Is Mali in touch with Nashrat ?

Mali says his informant was drinking with Nashrat, who was boasting about his latest exploits.

Like the Chinese say, I seem to be living in interesting times.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cellids and mobile locating

Your mobile is constantly communicating with the service provider through the mobile tower which is giving  the strongest signal in your location. There are multiple towers near you but your mobile is connected to only one of them. Amost always there are three antennas pointing at three directions, 120 degrees apart,  on a single tower. They are usually indicated with cellids whose last digit is either 1,2 or 3. Example 6881,6882,6883. The directions are 0,120,240 or 30,150,270 clockwise from north.

When you are at home, your mobile may connect to different towers at different times depending on your mobile's location. In  one room it may show 6881 in another it may show 10121. But rarely 6881 and 6882 or 10121 and 10122. because the direction of signal cannot coincide  from  different antennas  on the same tower. So if you get two different tower locations it is easier to estimate your approximate location.

Most mobiles does not show the cellid to the user but the service provider keeps a record of your calls and the cellids at the beginning and end of the call.

There are applications like PhoneNetInfo and Celltrack which work on specific handset models which can provide network information including cellids. PhoneNetInfo is downloadable from net and works with S40 and S60 phones.

The call data records contain the called number, duration, time of call, first cellid, last cellid and IMEI number of your handset.

This is the information that the police requests for a specific period for a specific IMEI or mobile number. If you want to trace your stolen mobile you better have  it's  IMEI number handy when you file your police complaint.

Mobile service providers are also  required to provide their tower list and addresses of the towers along with the cellids periodically to the Police.

After installing 'celltrack' or 'PhoneNetIOnfo' on your phone  you can visit the location indicated in the call records  and when you see the cellid displayed on your phone is same as the one you are seeking,  you have some idea of your target's location.

Since you are looking at past data you can't be sure if the target is still in the area. For that you need to study the the call records more closely and try to estimate target's location of residence or work.

Our police are not trained to do this type of work -- apart from increasing the work load of the service provider mostly nothing is achieved by this. They try to locate the target either by calling him directly or calling his contacts  --- which is a sure way to warn him. Very often when you get a criminal's call record all his contacts are also equally shady, equally difficult to trace and equally alert.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mobile tracing etc.

 In this city you cannot live without  a mobile phone.

These days everyone has a mobile phone including the cops , robbers and other types of lowlife. There are many service providers offering a multitude of schemes. It is the prepaid service that is used by most criminals. Because it is easy to get and difficult to trace. The operator is not worried about the address of the user because there are no bills -- almost no verification checks are done. Anyone with a driving license can get a prepaid SIM -- you won't guess how many of the these driving licenses are having invalid or old addresses.

So when you trace the address of a mobile number belonging to a wanted criminal, you are not surprised to find that there is no one the address or more likely the address does not even exist. But still tracing mobile numbers have become the prime activity of one section of Mumbai Police.

There is an elaborate infrastructure in place just for this purpose. Basically you (meaning the officer in charge of the investigation)  sent a request for the CDR (call data records) of a number or IMEI to the DCP or ACP from where it is forwarded to the service provider who maintains a security departmant just to cater to these requests. Most of the time the operator is very prompt in emailing the requested records except when it is a govt. company like MTNL. All records are for a specific period.

Just such a request was sent by API Chavan to the DCP.  Most requests from police stations are delayed, rejected or dumped in the trash at the DCP's office. Mainly because there are far too many requests and then againi most police are not savvy enough to analyze it when they eventually do get a cdr. Anyway most requests are for lost mobiles.

Because of all these reasons and because one section of the police force has dutifully alerted  the criminal, by the time the mobile records were received the culprit has already fled Mumbai.

Some Prathabh Garh residents have reported sighting him in his native village. Though it is more or less confirmed that the target is now at Tiwaripur village, Police have no real hope of catching him there. It is his fortress and his playground where the police don't want to become the proverbial sitting ducks!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Meet Mr Nashrat Mohammed Ali Idris Khan

Beware of Mr  Nashrat Ali who is not afraid of Mumbai police because of his good contacts at Motor Vehicle Unit of the crime branch (Yellow Gate).  He can take your car and vanish in seconds. He has a huge network across India to resell his stolen vehicles. His team includes Mr Javed, Mr Irshad (munna) all from the same area of Prathabh Garh District of UP.

You wont see him walking around Mumbai, because during the day he is holed up in some  Zopad Patti and at night he is on the prowl,  looking for vehicles to steal. If you come across him stay clear!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Mr Nashrat Ali buys an E63 here.
Here we are going through the bank statement and tracing the many transactions in around Vash sector 17. At MARU NX, a mobile shop in Vashi Secctor 17,  we have got the bill for the purchase of a Nokia E63 dating back one month. API Chavan has taken down the IMEI from the bill and requested for the call records from operators all over Mumbai. We hope this will be useful.

Meanwhile there  at Yellowgate Police station API Kishore N Gharate (KiNG) has been  busy derailing all our efforts. I met him last saturday  and was shocked to learn that he has blocked the very account  on which we are working. He says there was 'nothing else they could do'.

I am damn pissed off now. This is an enormous setback.  I can't imagine such stupidity or treachery from our officers.

Enquiries at our friendly ICICI branch has revealed that message posted on the account  reads 'Police Enquiry, Please contact Branch'.

Probably what Mr Gharate meant  'there was no better way' to alert Mr Nashrat Mohammad Ali, who is turning out to be the king of all Car thieves in Mumbai. The account balance was only Rs 13000 at the time of blocking! So what were they hoping to achieve by doing this?

I don't believe that  API Gharate is so dumb as to think that this action will somehow produce this hardened criminal. The only explanation is that Mr Nashrat Ali is an old  customer at Yellow Gate and they are trying to save his ass.

I have now disclosed the names of the main players  because the information is already compromised.

No matter what the police may do to save Mr Nashrat, I am going to continue the investigation. Wish me all the luck.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Car thieves -- Seven hundred and counting.

Mumbai Police, they say, is better than most. We are quite proud of our police.

API Chavan is heading the detection team at the police station and API KiNG is from YellowGate (Motor Vehicle Unit of Crime Branch). The TOPCOP Arun Chavan is in charge of property cell at police HQ. near Crawford Market. In the days ahead we will see whether they are able to get my vehicle and nab the thief.

This criminal is a professional car thief from Prathabh Garh dist. of UP. His brother is standing for the elections in the village but wanted in Mumbai for murder. Mumbai has thousands of cab drivers from Prathabh Garh.  A few are familiar with this name, but scared shitless to divulge any info. Some of them graduate to become car thieves. This is an easy and well organized racket. Mumbai Police are not doing enough to check this menace. There are more than 700 car thieves in Mumbai and our target Mr Ali is at the very top of this list.

This is the same people who provide the vehicles to terrorists and political goons in North India.

The motor vehicle unit is pathetic and apart from offering lame excuses they are not doing anything.