‘Topiwala Sobhraj’ held for cheating truckers

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New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) A 45-year-old man, known in police circles as ‘topiwala Charles Sobhraj’, who was adept at cheating truck drivers visiting Delhi, has been nabbed. He was involved in over 100 cases of cheating, robbery and theft, police said on Monday.

Kapil Anand was arrested on Sunday from Mundka in west Delhi on a tip-off. Police were on his trail for a long time, but he would always give them the slip. Anand, who belongs to Rohini, comes from a middle class society.

“We have succeeded in nabbing the extra-clever accused who posed a challenge as ‘topiwala’ and had become infamous for robbing, cheating and committing thefts on truck drivers coming from other states,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Pushpendra Kumar said.

“He had become a challenge to the police staff and committed many crimes in the outer and west districts of Delhi. Anand had admitted that even he could not remember the exact numbers, but may have committed more than hundred such offences over the last three years,” the officer said.

Anand’s arrest led us to solve over 18 such crimes committed by him in Nihal Vihar, Mundka, Nangloi, Ranhola and Mangol Puri areas in west Delhi, he added.

His modus operandi was to win the confidence of truck drivers arriving from other states and robbing them of their money.

He used to come in a car, wearing a white cap, and used to lure the truck drivers with offering them return loads from Delhi to other places, the officer said.

“After taking the drivers in his confidence he used to cheat them of their money by way of assuring safe custody. When some drivers refused to hand over the money under his custody he used to threaten them by brandishing a weapon and leave them at isolated places,” the officer said.

“By committing such crimes regularly he became infamous as ‘Topiwala Sobhraj’,” the officer said.

The real Charles Sobhraj, also known as the Bikini Killer, is a French serial killer of Vietnamese and Indian origin, who preyed on Western tourists throughout Southeast Asia during the 1970s.

In his revelation to police, Anand said he started his transport business in partnership in 2007 at Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar in Delhi.

“Anand’s partner had mismanaged the business and he suffered huge loss. He belongs to middle class society, and was under pressure to maintain his status, but he could not get any suitable job or manage a business to meet the family requirements.

“He knew that drivers coming from other states had no knowledge of the exact addresses in the outskirts of Delhi. Hence he devised a way to accomplish his dream of becoming rich by robbing poor and innocent truck drivers of their money,” the officer said.

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