The Palghar city police on Sunday arrested a couple that had been robbed auto drivers. The husband and wife have numerous cases registered in their names at various police stations including in Mumbai. The accused, Aziz Hasan Tama, (38), and his wife Mariyam, (32), say they spent all the money from the robberies.
(From left) Mariyam and Aziz Hasan Tama, and Sudhakar Gaikwad, one of the drivers they robbed. Pics/Azim Tamboli
There are more than 40 cases in their names in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Palghar (Rural) and in Thane district. The police say they were arrested in a case in Mumbai but took to the robberies again when they were out on bail. According to Palghar (City) police, the accused would select auto drivers who wore gold ornaments.
After hiring an auto rickshaw, they would befriend the auto driver. They would later offer him a spiked drink to render him unconscious and rob him. Said one of the victims, rickshaw driver Sudhakar Gaikwad, “They hired me to take them to a village near Palghar.
They kept sweet-talking and said things like you rickshaw drivers work so hard, you are also human beings etc. Then they asked me to stop and said they were hungry, they would get food for all of us. They did so and also brought Frooti for me. They also had some. But after some time when I drank it, I felt very sleepy and fell asleep.
They then robbed me of my gold chain, ring and all my day’s earnings. I am told some people recognised me and picked me up from the side of the road and took me to a doctor.” After receiving repeated complaints about the couple, the Palghar police recently formed a special team along with auto drivers. A few auto drivers were asked by cops to wear fake gold jewellery to trap the couple.
After four days, one of the auto drivers was hired by the couple. He immediately informed the cops and the accused were caught. In their confession to Palghar police, Aziz and Mariyam have revealed that they spent all the money from the robberies. They were booked under various Sections of IPC including robbery.