HYDERABAD: The law finally caught up with a fugitive who was on the run for the past two years. Sustained surveillance by the police finally led to his arrest by Special Operations Team (SOT) of Rachakonda police on Thursday.
The con man had cheated the public on the pretext of selling smuggled gold seized by customs at half price.
Posing as a customs official working at the Visakhapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh, the accused Soumen Banerjee had collected crores of rupees from an unsuspecting public. After a two-year long manhunt, he was finally arrested from his house in a densely populated area in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. Rachakonda Commissioner of Police Mahesh Bhagwat said that Soumen had collected more than Rs 5 crore from the public on the pretext of selling seized gold and offering 30 per cent returns on investments in his companies.
A fake identity card of the customs department, Aadhaar cards, stamps, educational certificates and cash of Rs 1 lakh was seized from him. He was found to be operating 20 different bank accounts from different public and private sector banks. He purchased two villas worth about `60 lakh each, purchased a car, one auto trolley and bought three bikes on finance mode through private banks.
According to the police, Soumen (43), in 2013, fled from his village in Uluberia district of West Bengal after cheating the public and migrated to Hyderabad along with his wife Suparna Banerjee and son Susovan and settled at Medipally.In January 2017, he went missing along with his family. They also took away all the valuables from the villa along with an Ertiga car.
A hunt by the SOT led them to several places where he visited in the past. Finally, they chanced upon his Ertiga vehicle at Nagpur railway station. Further inquiries led them to Amritsar, where they traced him to a house. However, he had vacated the house after a stay of only six months. SOT sleuths found that Soumen had also cheated public in Amritsar and gone absconding. The technical analysis tracked him to Jharkhand, but he once again disappeared. Continued tracking finally traced him to his residence in Bhubaneshwar, where he was caught.