"Fake" police seize bus with riders to recover money

"Fake" police seize bus with riders to recover money

The Lama Travels bus bound to Kannur from Bengaluru that was hijacked by recovery agents of a finance firm along with passengers on Friday night.

Passengers of bus headed for Kannur in Kerala from Bengaluru had a harrowing time after four men posing as policemen, waylaid their bus on Mysuru Road and drove it to a godown in Rajarajeshwari Nagar on Friday night.

The four men turned out to be recovery agents of a city-based finance firm who seized the bus as owner Rafique defaulted on his vehicle loan, the police said. The Rajarajeshwari Nagar police registered a case under IPC sections 365 — kidnapping, 341 — wrongful restraint, 342 — wrongful confinement, 504 — intentional insult and 506 — criminal intimidation, and are on the lookout for the suspects.

According to the police, the bus attached to Lama Travels, bearing registration number KA-01-AG-0636 departed from Kalasipalyam around 9.30 pm and was bound for Kannur. When the bus reached the arch near Gopalan Arcade in Rajarajeshwari Nagar around 10.30 pm, four to five men on two bikes waylaid the bus.

One of them dragged the driver out after pulling out the ignition keys. He then got on to the driver’s seat and told the passengers he was a police inspector and he was taking the bus for inspection. He told the passengers that if they did not cooperate, they will be booked. “Initially, I thought the bus had brushed against one of the bikes and the riders intercepted it to confront the bus driver. But two men got into the bus. One of them, who did not seem to know how to drive, drove the bus through some bylanes,” Shamsheer B K told DH. Shamsheer (25) was travelling with his friend Ajanaf to Kannur to attend a friend’s wedding.

“The men on the bike were bringing the bus driver along with them on one of the bikes. The bus, with its passengers, was taken to a shed, where it was locked up. It was only then that we realised that something was wrong,” Ajanaf said.

A few passengers informed the police and the media who rushed to the shed in Pattanagere to find the bus locked with passengers. There were guards at the godown, but the men who seized the bus fled. The police detained the guards and released the passengers, who had spent an hour in the shed.

An alternative bus was arranged at 3 am by the travel firm with the help of the police and the passengers resumed their journey.

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