Bangladeshi plumber robs Mumbai homes

He first slunk into India in 2009 and was deported to Bangladesh after committing a theft; he returned this year, armed with a passport, and resumed burglary by climbing up pipes.

Evolve or die. An unsuccessful but nimble Bangladeshi plumber almost managed to illustrate the truth of this dictum, till his luck ran out a few days ago.

Gateway to India: Khan had made his first foray into India in 2009,
but was bundled back to Bangladesh after cops caught him stealing; he
then returned to India in 2011 on a tourist visa, and was planning to marry
a local, to acquire Indian citizenship. Pics/Milind Karekar

When his plumbing skills failed in his homeland, Anwar Fazulu Rehman Khan decided to try his luck in India. Only this time, he chose to tweak his skills from mending pipes to climbing up them for a quick grab at valuables kept by oblivious residents in apartments. When cops nabbed him and deported him back to Bangladesh, he craftily got himself another free pass into the country -- in the form of a tourist visa. 

Khan, who first slunk into the country in 2009, has been arrested for committing a theft at the residence of Mukesh Kedari, a first-floor resident of Khambatta Chawl in Mugbhat Lane, Girgaum.

"On November 17, he climbed up a drainage pipe to reach the first floor, where Kedari had left a window open to let in fresh air. When he peeped in, he found a pant hanging by the window. Seeing a perfect opportunity, he swiftly checked its pockets and with great agility, removed three cell phones and Rs 4,300 from the pant, and slid down smoothly," said Sub Inspector Milind Kate of VP Road police station.

"Whenever Khan found a window open, he would expertly climb up the pipe, grab at whatever valuables he found lying near open windows, and slide back down," added Kate.

Khan's dexterity, however, did not protect him from the searching eyes of the beat marshals of VP Road, who were patrolling the area on the night of November 17.

Noticing Khan sidle along the chawl, the marshals drew up, and asked him why he was lurking about at such a late hour. Khan's nervous and hesitant response raised the suspicion of the marshals, who immediately rummaged through his pockets to find his booty.

Not his first time
Investigations soon revealed that Khan was a history-sheeter who had been nabbed by VP Road police for a similar theft in 2009.

Cops learnt that he had even been convicted, detained for three months, and then deported back to his native country. But he had bounced back to the Arabian seashores, on a tourist visa this time, and returned to the fine art of pilfering.

Cops have learnt that Khan was originally a resident of Chirirbandar in Bangladesh. When his profession failed him, his search for greener pastures led him to Mumbai. After trying his hand at menial jobs, he decided to hone one of the skills that plumbing had endowed him with -- dexterously climbing up slippery sides of pipes.

For his first foray into Indian soil in January 2009, Khan chose the porous borders of West Bengal.

"His research told him that immigration protocol was particularly lax in the stretch between Haridaspur and Benapole, along the Bengal-Bangladesh border," said Kate. To evade deportation a second time, he devised an ingenious solution -- this time, he arranged for a passport, availed of a tourist visa, and slunk back into Mumbai to resume his thefts in June 2011.

He was arrested again in Marine Drive in October, but let out on bail by cops who did not do a check of his criminal history. After lying low for a month, he struck again at the chawl on November 17, which led to his final arrest.

"Deportation was a time-consuming venture, and Khan never managed to get bail as he was an illegal immigrant. To save himself trouble, he applied for a tourist visa," said Rajendra Chavan, senior police
inspector of V P Road police station.

Khan has been remanded in police custody till November 25. "We have learnt that Khan was planning to marry an Indian girl from Mira Road in order to get Indian citizenship, so he could not be deported again," added Kate.

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