Mumbai, Mar 30 (PTI) Two people were arrested for trading in stolen motorcycles after embossing their engines, chassis and other equipment with identification numbers of older two-wheelers, police said today.

Acting on a tip-off, Unit IX of the Crime Branch arrested motorcycle mechanic Sahil Ganja (31) and Arif Chand Khan (28) from Dharavi in central Mumbai and Malvani respectively and a hunt was on for a third person, police informed.

Police have recovered 32 motorcycles, which include models like Enfield Bullet, Pulsar, Unicorn, Yamaha, Suzuki and the number of such stolen motorcycles could touch 150, officials said.

Explaining the modus operandi, an official said, “Ganja, who runs a garage, used to lure motorcycle owners by promising to overhaul their old two-wheelers by fitting new original spares at a mutually agreed price.” “Ganja would then intimate Khan who would scout for new vehicles of the same make and steal them when he got an opportunity. The engine, chassis etc of the new bike would be removed at Ganja’s garage and the numbers of the old two-wheeler would be embossed on them. These parts would then be put back onto the new bike,” Nisar Tamboli, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) said.

The customer would pay up after he got a new bike but with its parts having numbers of his older two-wheeler, he said.

“The old bike would be scrapped and the accused would make money out of that as well,” he said.

“The accused have said that they were operating this racket for the past few months but we believe they have been at this for over four years,” an official said.

The Crime Branch worked on a tip-off provided by assistant inspector Irfan Sheikh who had apprehended a scooter on March 26, Mahesh Desai, Senior Police Inspector of Crime Branch said.

The two have been remanded in police custody till March 31 and further investigations were underway, officials said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.