In a significant breakthrough, the Siliguri Metropolitan Police (SMP) has arrested five persons for their alleged involvement in smuggling of ganja.

However, further investigations revealed that the five were also members of a gang that broke ATMs or had tried to break some machines in the town since last year.

The five were arrested on Saturday near Gajaldoba when they were planning to smuggle 55 kg contraband items.

“During interrogation, we came to know about their involvement in breaking ATM kiosks at 12 places in Siliguri since last year,”’ the deputy commissioner of police (Headquarters), SMP, Nima Norbu Bhutia, said today.

There were frequent incidents of break-in attempts at ATM kiosks in Siliguri, but in most of the cases, the miscreants remained elusive.

Police said the 12 places where such attempts were made included Dabgram, Asighar and Shaktigarh.

Some of them have old police cases pending against them, while police have found their involvement in some house theft incidents too, police said.

The accused persons have been identified as Gautam Mali, Rajen Sarkar, Khokan Adhikari, Subrata Deb and Bhajan Das. An iron rod was also recovered from them, along with the ganja.

“They did not use the conventional routes after the crime, while they rather preferred to take the lanes and by-lanes,” Mr Bhutia said.