Bilal Gunj: Where stolen vehicles hang like corpses
LAHORE The sale of snatched or lifted vehicles, later sold as parts, continues in Bilal Gunj Market as there is no one to control this heinous crime. Almost five cars and 10 bikes are lifted per day in the provincial capital and sold in parts on very cheap rates in the said market, sources informed TheNation.
The market is located in the backyard of the shrine of Hazrat Data Gunj Bukhsh (RA). It comprises of 6,500 shops where almost every used body parts of motorcycles, motorcars, irons, cooling fans, refrigerators, water pumps and etc are available.
Police sources believed that over 300 underground parking lots exist in different nook and corners of the City including major ones located in Lower Mall, Railway Station, Gulberg, Cantonment and Iqbal Town areas. According to modus operandi of notorious car/bike lifter gangs, they rob/snatch cars or motorbike from different parts of the City and minutes after when the news is screened at any TV channel they park the lifted bike/car in any underground parking.
Insiders say there are three ways to move snatched/robbed motor vehicles: firstly the vehicle is dismantled in parking area; secondly the hired mechanics sign verbal deal with any 'trader of Bilal Gunj Market, and thirdly the snatched vehicle is directly moved to Swabi.
According to the third condition, a middleman from Swabi somehow knows about the genuine owner of the vehicle either by utilising his contacts in Excise and Taxation Department or by borrowing the assistance of the vehicle-lifter gang and phones to the owner saying, You will have to give Rs 0.2 million and can retake your vehicle otherwise I would have to break it and then sale it. Insiders say mostly the 'deal is finalised between both the parties without giving the agreement into the knowledge of the 'sagacious police officers. However, if the deal remains unsuccessful then the vehicle is dismantled and its various body parts are again sent to Bilal Gunj Market, Karachi, Peshawar, Toba Tek Singh and Faisalabad.
I dont care either its robbed headlights or genuine but they are in good condition that matter for me, a customer Shabir Shah said at one of the shops at Bilal Gunj Market.
Anjuman-e-Tajran Bilal Gung Market Muhammad Afzal said: We pay 17 per cent duty on each body part of the vehicle. This is the largest market of the Asia of used parts where the parts from Japan, China, Singapore and Korea is available on cheap rates. Afzal said the customers preferred to purchase an engine with Rs 50,000 instead of purchasing the same with Rs 250,000 from the market. The headlights, which are being sold on Rs 10,000 from international market, are available at Bilal Gunj Market with Rs 3,000, he added. Muhammad Afzal, however, strongly ruled out the parts belong to robbed vehicles.
One cannot even imagine a Mehran car in good condition is sold in mere Rs 40,000 in Bilal Gunj Market. About 25,000 are given to the car lifter, Rs 10,000 to the middleman and Rs 5,000 are given as fair to the person who manages to hand over the vehicle to the purchaser of Bilal Gunj Market, an shopkeeper said conditioning anonymity. According to his account, the market bases on theft property and the entire business is in full knowledge of the top cops of the city police as well as the local political leaders.
This is a big business of the City in which big crocodiles are involved, who are directly or indirectly supervising the entire business, a top police officer said. According to him only those police officers are deputed at entry/exit points of the Bilal Gunj Market, who can easily manage how to deal amicably with the robbers, providers, middlemen and to the touts of market.
The SP CRO Sajjad Manj, the officer heading Anti Vehicles Cars Lifter Staff, said the chances of car destruction at Bilal Gunj Market had been decreased during the last 10 to 15 years. Now the set up has been modernised. We have involved medical superintendents of various leading hospitals of the City to cooperate as mostly the cars/motorbikes are being dislocated from the vicinities of hospitals, he added. The robbers have also changed their modus operandi.
SP Sajjad Manj, however, said about 300 vehicles had been recovered during the last four month, out of which 169 had been returned to their owners. Can you imagine, we have recovered 147 cars out of total 150 during the month of April while about 175 cars have been traced during the last two month, he added.
He said 24 trained officers equipped with latest laptops had been deployed to have records of each robbed car and also circulate information across the country about robbed vehicles with no time after the incident.
The SP City Police Division Dr Shahzad Asif, however, said there were chances of robbed motorbikes being sold in Bilal Gunj Market.
The rates of some of the parts of Toyota Corolla car
Original Market: Bilal Gunj Market
Bonnet Rs 16500 Rs 10000
Front Lights Rs 7300*2 Rs 5000*2
Back Lights Rs 7400*2 Rs 5000*2
Front/Back Bumpers Rs 9400 Rs 4000
Diggi Rs 17500 Rs 11000
Wind Screen Rs 23500 Rs 6000
Side Mirrors Rs 4400*22 Rs 3000*2
Back Screen Rs 29000 Rs 9000
AC/Compressor Rs 6800*2 Rs 3200*2