The Thane traffic police (rural) has busted a Mira Road based racket that provided fake driving licences to auto-rickshaw drivers.
The Thane traffic police (rural) has busted a Mira Road based racket that provided fake driving licences to auto-rickshaw drivers. What began as routine checks eventually led to the police naming 18 persons as accused in a First Information Report (FIR), arresting two auto-rickshaw drivers, and impounding 12 auto-rickshaws.
The investigation showed that a significant number of fake driving licences peddled by middlemen were being used in Mira Road, said a Kashimira police officer. The police have brought a few such operators under the scanner, not ruling out the involvement of dubious driving school operators.
The probe was prompted by on-duty traffic cops stumbling upon a suspicious looking driving license possessed by an auto-rickshaw driver. “We cross verified the authenticity of the licence with the Road Traffic Authority (RTA) and true to our doubts, it was found to be fabricated,” said the traffic policeman who then registered a formal complaint at Kashimira police station.
A detection team led by assistant police inspector, Prakash Pawar, carried out investigations and traced the identities of 18 persons suspected to be involved in the racket. “Right now, our priority is to weed out other fake licence holders and nab the actual masterminds of the racket,” said API Pawar. Meanwhile, a case of cheating and forgery under sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the accused who have been remanded to police custody till October 28 by the District Sessions Court, Thane.
While nearly 6,000 auto-rickshaws have been issued valid permits by authorities, this most affordable and accessible mode of communication is proving to be a menace with an additional 1,500 autos believed to be plying on the basis of fake documents in the twin-city, sources revealed.
Prompted into action, the traffic department has been tightening the noose around these illegal operators by launching dedicated drives which have witnessed seizure of dozens of rickshaws in the past couple of months. Apart from lack of basic requirements including badges, permits, fitness certificates, licences and even compliance plates indicating a valid CNG cylinder, several autos have been found to have crossed their authorised lifespan of 16 years and are still plying on the roads with impunity.