Islamabad, Aug 18: On an average cars worth Rs one billion are stolen every month in Pakistan, said a report of the country's Interior Ministry, and added that cars of an estimated worth of Rs 18 billion were stolen in the past 18 months. According to the report, 14,037 vehicles worth Rs seven billion were stolen or snatched across the country during the first half of 2008 while 23,144 vehicles worth Rs 11 billion were stolen or snatched during 2007.
Punjab had the highest number of vehicle lifting incidents, as 7432 vehicles were taken away in the first six months of 2008 and 6,801 in the same period of 2007. In NWFP, the figures remained low and 341 vehicles were stolen from Jan 1 to June 30, 2008 as compared to 329 in the same period in 2007.
In Balochistan, 404 vehicles were stolen or snatched in the same period in 2008 as compared to 315 in 2007. Whereas, 12 vehicles were taken away from the jurisdiction of Railways Police in 2008 as compared to 8 in same period in 2007.
A 49.07 per cent increase of the crime was seen in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) as 401 vehicles were lifted during first two quarters of 2008 as compared to 269 during the same period in 2007.
Thefts of vehicles are on the rise with clear indications that police and the vehicles registration offices are part of the mafia, reported The News.
A professional car lifter on condition of anonymity said that bigwigs in the police, and bureaucracy, besides top politicians were directly involved in the lucrative business and they looked after the interests of the mafia. "I enjoy my job. I earn hundreds of thousands for a 3 to 4-minute effort. I can lift at least three vehicles in a day," the daring car lifter said and added that his job was very easy but also hard and risky.
He further said: "Toyota Corolla, Honda, Suzuki Mehran, Alto are favourite vehicles to steal but we follow the demand of the receivers. Motorway is the safest way to take the stolen vehicles to Peshawar and Mardan.
According to him, Peshawar, Hazara and Mardan Divisions were havens for carjackers.
The mafia chiefs involved in this particular crime are known to the police, and so are their dens, mostly in the NWFP, but no one dares to take them to justice, added the paper.