The Metropolitan Traffic Police has busted a bike lifting racket with the arrest of seven members of a gang.

The gang used to dismantle motorbikes and smuggle them.

The traffic police today paraded the arrestees along with stolen motorbikes at a press conference held at its office in Singhadurbar.

Nar Kumar Pudasaini, 19, of Rautahat is the one among those arrested.

He was arrested along with a motorbike (P3 -02-013 PA 3660) which was stolen from Baneshwor area last year in December. Police had arrested him from Pashupati area. Following Pudasaini's arrest, more of his gang members were held.

Pundalal Budha, 20, of Jumla district was arrested from New Road along with a bike stolen from Battisputali around a month ago. The motorbike he was riding had a different number plate than the original one.

Similarly, other gang members of the racket are Santosh Maharjan, 22, of Kathmandu, Gyanendra Chaudhary, 32, of Rautahat, Rabi Kumar Kusawaha, 32, of Rautahat, Kamal Bahadur Basnet, 21, of Udayapur and Ranjit Prasad Gupta, 22 of Bara.

They were also arrested along with stolen motorbikes.

Police have also confiscated a number of fake number plates, basic tools to unlock the handle of motorbikes and devices to short circuit the bikes to start them. They were arrested from different places inside the valley on different dates. Gyanendra Chaudhary, who was arrested once for the same offence in the past, is said to be leading the racket.

MTPD Spokesperson SP Sanjiv Sharma Das during a press meet said the arrested used to operate in an organised manner. "Our covert operation for a long time made it possible to arrest these offenders. These seven people, who look like commoners, ran the biggest bike-lifting racket in the valley," Das said.

Normally, motorcycles with higher CCs such as R15 and Pulsar 200 are targets of these thieves inside the valley, according to police. After stealing the motorbikes they take it to covert workshops where they change the number plates, and slightly modify the bike to deceive owners in case they see their bikes.

Many stolen bikes are said to be transported to remote areas in the districts adjoining Kathmandu valley.

They sell the stolen bikes at less than one-third of the original price.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 8, 2021 of The Himalayan Times.