Street crime, extortion cases witness alarming rise in Karachi

KARACHI: Street crimes, robberies, and murders continued in Karachi in the month of September, despite the appointment of a new IG Sindh and Karachi Police Chief.

According to the data of the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), citizens were deprived of 207 vehicles, 5,399 motorcycles, and 2,464 mobile phones in street crimes during the month. 62 people were also killed in the city during the same period.

The CPLC report also revealed that the number of motorcycles stolen in September was the highest in the last 30 days. The report also highlighted the fact that the middle class was the most affected by street crimes, as they were the ones who were most likely to be robbed of their motorcycles and mobile phones.

Despite the police claiming to have arrested a number of street criminals and other criminals in alleged encounters, the crime rate in Karachi remains high. Citizens are still not safe in their homes, streets, shops, and offices.

The police authorities need to take more concrete measures to curb street crimes in
Karachi. They should also focus on improving the law and order situation in the city so that citizens can feel safe and secure.

‘Extortion cases on rise again’

On the other hand, extortion cases have increased in Karachi, with 91 cases reported in the first nine months of 2023, with the network is believed to be operating from Iran, Dubai, and Afghanistan.

According to Specialized Investigation Unit (SIU) SSP Junaid Sheikh, the extortionists have changed their methods, and are now using strong and organized gangs based abroad. These gangs have formed 5 to 7 groups with the help of local boys.

The boys in the extortion network first gather information about potential targets, including businessmen, small and big traders, shopkeepers, and builders. They then send extortion slips with bullets to their targets, and make threatening calls from abroad.

According to SIU records, 44 of the 91 extortion cases reported in 2023 have been challaned in the courts. Eleven cases have been classified as “A class,” meaning that the evidence is insufficient. Two cases have been classified as “B class,” meaning that they are minor. Ten cases have been classified as “C class,” meaning that they were entered on misunderstanding.

In eight cases, the SIU has completed the investigation and sent back the case file after finding no evidence of extortion. In 16 cases, the police investigation is ongoing. In 45 cases, the police trial is being conducted.

SSP SIU Junaid Shaikh that the local network of extortionists is not very strong or organized, but this year has been very disturbed compared to previous years.

Some of the cases and the arrest of the accused have revealed that the network of extortionists is operating from abroad, with groups being operated from Dubai, Iran, and Afghanistan. These groups have also been caught with the help of modern technology.

The relevant institutions have been informed about the mastermind of the group. In the last few days, the Karachi police have received complaints of extortion from the small and big markets of Shahr Quaid, who were sent an extortion slip and a pill along with it. The police have identified the accused.

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