Ransom collection to be considered terror financing: CM

Salis bin Perwaiz
Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday ordered taking strict action against the sale and purchase of stolen goods so that street crime can be controlled.

It was also decided during the 31st apex committee meeting, which Shah chaired at the CM House, that police pickets would be established along the right bank of the River Indus to contain and apprehend the riverine dacoits.

The chief executive decided taking measures to monitor the sale of stolen and snatched phones and vehicles as spare parts or in their original form at Karachi’s markets. “The recovery of ransom from the families of kidnapped individuals will be considered terror financing, and the people involved in facilitating the collection of the ransom amount will be identified through intelligence work to crush them.”

Street crime

Home Minister Ziaul Hassan Lanjar and Sindh police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon claimed that street crime, particularly the theft of phones and vehicles, has decreased due to improved policing.

However, they admitted, cases of vehicle snatching have shown a slight increase. Comparative figures for the first three months of 2023 and 2024 indicate a decrease in the number of reported theft cases this year.

This year 15,345 two-wheelers were stolen, which is 953 fewer cases than last year’s 16,298 reported incidents. Similarly, the theft of four-wheelers decreased by 145 cases, with 520 stolen this year, compared to 665 last year.

The number of snatched phones also shows a decline, with 6,813 cases reported this year, compared to 8,688 last year, indicating a decrease of 1,875 cases. According to the statistics, there has been a significant increase in the snatching of vehicles. Last year 60 four-wheelers were snatched, and this number increased to 80 this year. Similarly, 1,805 two-wheelers were snatched last year, and this number increased to 3,094 this year.

But the overall figures of street crime have shown a decrease of 1,613 cases. Last year 27,680 cases were registered, and this number decreased to 26,067 this year. Police conducted 467 encounters this year, killing 67 suspects, injuring 489 and arresting 1,766. The weapons found on the suspects included an SMG, 2,111 pistols, 30 rifles, seven shotguns and 18 grenades.

CM Shah told IGP Memon to reactivate the Shaheen Force with a dedicated motorbike squad of 386 motorbikes. He said the squad should patrol the identified hotspots during peak hours, and each SSP should issue and implement a patrolling plan.

He also told the police department to revamp Madadgar 15. Lanjar announced that an additional 168 vehicles, including 120 motorbikes, would be deployed to enhance the capabilities of the police force.


Shah ordered Memon to initiate e-tagging of repeat offenders, saying that a pilot project should be started with 4,000 devices. The IGP said the rules have been drafted and the SOP is being formulated, while 67 investigating officers have been assigned to robbery cases involving murders or injuries.

He said the police have activated the Special Investigation Unit to investigate these cases. Shah also directed him to upgrade the Command & Control Centre at the Central Police Office. The meeting was told that 2,000 cameras are already installed, with 325 new cameras being installed, and 500 old cameras being upgraded to enhance the security measures.


Lanjar said he had visited all the districts of the Sukkur and Larkana divisions where dacoits have been causing problems. He said that since July 2022, 107 police pickets have been established along the left bank of the River Indus, with a deployment of 759 police personnel.

He also said that 567 people have been saved from being kidnapped through honey traps. Shah stressed that the left bank has been secured, and now there is a need to strengthen the right bank to secure the Shikarpur and Kashmore districts.

The meeting noted that 118 people were kidnapped this year until April 19, of whom 96 have been rescued, but 22 remain missing. Lanjar said he had visited the areas, and is making all-out efforts for their recovery.

He said that there are only about 90 dacoits, and the others are their tribesmen. He added that he has deployed 1,000 policemen each in Ghotki, Kashmore and Shikarpur.

He also said he has discussed the matter with the Bahawalpur RPO and the Rajanpur DIG for the establishment of police pickets on the side of the Punjab province.

Shah directed Chief Secretary Asif Hyder Shah to get the work on the Ghotki-Kandhkot bridge expedited. Sindh Rangers chief Major General Azhar Waqas said he has also deployed Rangers for the security of the workers engaged with the construction of the bridge.

Joint checkpoints

The meeting was told that the Ministry of Interior has notified 10 joint checkpoints to be manned by police, Rangers, Customs and agriculture department personnel. Shah said the checkpoints would be established and equipped on both sides of the road.


Mohammad Yaqoob Mako, Chief Collector of Customs, Enforcement (South), Karachi, said that this year 642 seizures of smuggled goods worth Rs5.184 billion have been made.

He said the Rangers handed over 250 cases valued at Rs411 million, the police handed over 26 cases valued at Rs251 million, and 190 other cases were valued at Rs3.303 billion. Shah said that coordination between different law enforcement agencies is making good progress.

Memon said his department has started a drug awareness campaign at different colleges and universities. He said that during the last few months 164 cases of narcotics have been registered, with 166 persons arrested, and 22 motorbikes and 27 other vehicles impounded.

He added that 4.38kg of heroin, 419.472kg of hashish, 1.3mt of cannabis, 623 bottles of foreign liquor, 522 bottles of beer, 7,154 litres of illicit liquor, 12.38kg of ice, and other things have been recovered.

The meeting was also attended by Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, Karachi Mayor Murtaza Wahab, Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar, CM’s Principal Secretary Agha Wasif, Home Secretary Iqbal Memon, Advocate General Hassan Akbar, Karachi Commissioner Hassan Naqvi, Karachi police chief Imran Yaqoob, Karachi Water & Sewerage Corporation chief Asadullah Khan and other relevant officers.