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Old 16th November 2017, 10:27   #1
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Default The Thak Thak gang - Fake accident, then extortion

Hey Readers, I am not a very regular poster on the forum, more of just a read and absorb sponge.

I recently moved to Pune, and a few incidents observed here have led to the creation of this thread.

The incident described below has occurred with a family member of mine, in my absence, and I have had an opportunity to see it repeat live, in front of me, to an unknown person. The similarity of this, with other Team BHP members personal as well as anecdotal incidents have led to this thread.

Consider this, a lady is driving a four wheeler, with a child in the car. This is a common scenario in the morning and early afternoon in Pune, as that is the drop off and pickup time slot for several kindergartners.

Suddenly, a noise is heard from outside (a Thak, if you may) and a biker is seen falling in front of the car. There is no clue where this magician materialized from, and how he came in front. Before the lady is able to process this information, two masked men start making a hullabaloo and gather a large crowd to support the magical victim.

The masked men will ensure the lady is tormented enough that she is not able to properly react. Photos of the lady, child, car will be taken immediately, a video is taken of the surroundings, and this attracts a larger crowd to gather around.

Finally, one of them will demand 2,000 to 4,000 for the victim, as his motorcycle is damaged. A famulus (magicians assistant) will come, proclaim himself as a mechanic from the nearby garage and suggest the mentioned figure to be correct.

At this stage, most women will give in and pay to be able to leave. In some cases, if a signal is close by, a traffic cop will come up, not really do much for either side, and ask the parties involved to settle off the issue ASAP as traffic congestion has started.

So, why is this a scam? See the depiction below.

The noise heard is made by the supporting crew (the masked bikers) and the person who falls in front has a pre-damaged two wheeler. If the lady has friends coming to help, the masked men vanish. If the friends take the decrepit bike for repairs to a nearby local garage, you will find it vanish once you have given money for repairs based on the estimate of 300-500 Rs.

In our case, we got help from Pune based BHPian friends 599gto & neonwheels and non-member petrolhead Sushant.

Have you encountered this anywhere? In Pune or any other city? Do comment below.
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Old 16th November 2017, 10:47   #2
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Default re: The Thak Thak gang - Fake accident, then extortion

These things are/were common in other cities too I guess, going by experiences shared by BHPians and others on social media.

While you can't change the mentality of people, the worst part in all this is the absolute lack of help and governance from authorities (read: cops).

Please mention this experience on Pune Traffic Police's Facebook page; I'm sure they'll be many more people sharing similar experiences. I sincerely hope Pune Police (especially our popular Commissioner) are capable of curbing these incidents, rather than just a fancy photo op and safety awareness videos in theaters.

Such things make the presence of a dash cam even more significant.
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Old 16th November 2017, 18:23   #3
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Default re: The Thak Thak gang - Fake accident, then extortion

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post

Such things make the presence of a dash cam even more significant.
This is the most important thing on our roads!

When this happens I wouldn't fight it out, but later on go and file a police complaints. If the bike number is caught on camera, along with pictures of the accused - the Police can act on it swiftly and bring it to a close.
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Old 16th November 2017, 19:01   #4
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Default re: The Thak Thak gang - Fake accident, then extortion

Quote:
Originally Posted by latentpotential View Post
I recently moved to Pune, and a few incidents observed here have led to the creation of this thread.
Request you to specify the area as well, since that will help people to be more vigilant of these practices.
If there is a presence of CCTV nearby, your family member should still go ahead and register a complaint.

Last edited by silverado : 16th November 2017 at 19:07.
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Old 16th November 2017, 23:20   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
Request you to specify the area as well, since that will help people to be more vigilant of these practices.
If there is a presence of CCTV nearby, your family member should still go ahead and register a complaint.
Very well.

On Baner road, we were a victim a while ago.

Today, near the almost completed bridge on Karve road (towards Warje), it occurred to someone else, lady with a kid. I advised her to call 100, wait for police and go via this route, instead of setting up.

I guess, this gang is sufficiently mobile.
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Old 16th November 2017, 23:36   #6
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Default re: The Thak Thak gang - Fake accident, then extortion

Goodness gracious. I had heard of these things in other cities. Was blissfully unaware of them happening in Pune as well. Well ignorance is bliss. Or is it??

First thing I order now will be a good quality dashcam!
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Old 17th November 2017, 10:09   #7
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Default Re: The Thak Thak gang - Fake accident, then extortion

Best recourse in such a situation is to call the police to the spot and / or insist on visiting the police station. 99% of these scamsters will run away.

Only the courts have the authority to decide on who compensates whom, and even for that, we have 3rd-party insurance coverage.
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