Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], July 12 (ANI): The sleuths of Special Operations Team, Malkajgiri Zone, along with local police apprehended one Soumen Banerjee, who is accused of cheating people under the guise of a customs officer.
Banerjee had allegedly collected more than Rs 5 crore to provide gold coins and 30 per cent interest on investments.
Police also seized a fake identity card, Aaadhar cards, Voter ID cards, stamps, cash worth Rs 1 lakh and a mobile phone from his possession.
A native of Antila village in Uluberia district of West Bengal, Banerjee, in 2013, was absconding along with his wife Suparna Banerjee and son Susovan Banerjee after committing a crime. He came to Chengicherla at Medipally and introduced himself as a customs officer working at Vizag port, according to the police.
Banerjee had informed local residents that during raids, gold biscuits are seized from passengers who carry them without bills, and these can be provided to locals at half the rate. He had informed locals to pay the money in advance to get gold coins.
Believing him, people started investing money for purchasing gold biscuits at a reduced rate. Initially, he provided gold coins to gain the confidence of the public and collected crores of rupees from them. He also established grocery firms at three places only with an intention to cheat banks for obtaining loans, officials mentioned. He took bank loans from private banks and purchased two villas, two cars and three two-wheelers. He even gifted costly mobiles phones to his investors with an intention for wide publicity of his activities.
On January 31, 2017, Banerjee fled the city, switched off all his mobiles phones, and collected all his valuables and escaped in his car. Perturbed by this, locals lodged a complaint in Medipally police station and a case was registered against him.
The special operations team immediately started searching for Banerjee through technical analysis. SOTs visited places he frequently travelled to, namely West Bengal, Goa, Shirdi, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, and Nagpur. After days of searching, Banerjee's Maruti Ertiga vehicle was traced at Nagpur railway station, while his movement was traced to Amritsar.
During their investigation in Amritsar, SOTs found that Banerjee had cheated a number of people by promising to provide them jobs and collected lakhs of rupees before fleeing on September 16, 2017. It was also revealed that he had taken two SIM cards by submitting his neighbour's Aadhaar card copies without their knowledge. He was ultimately nabbed in Bhubaneswar.
Interrogation revealed that Banerjee had 20 bank accounts in different public and private sector banks, gold mortgage in banks, obtained housing loans from India Bulls' bank and purchased two villas for about Rs 60 lakhs each. He had also purchased an Ertiga car, one Auto Trolley and three two-wheelers on hire purchase through private banks. (ANI)