KOLKATA: Giving your motorbike or car on hire or buying second-hand products online? Beware! A self-proclaimed film producer has allegedly hired over 200 cars from different individuals across Kolkata and sold them online.
The issue came to light when several car owners filed separate cases in various police stations of the city after seeing their cars being sold online and unable to contact the accused.
However, accused Prateek Bhattacharya had given original address of his residence at Nimta in the city where duped complainants got to meet each other and decided to approach the Kolkata Police unitedly by writing a written complaint to police headquarters Lalbazar. The accused and the cars are yet to be traced.
“Accused Prateek Bhattacharya has duped several individuals amounting to over 200 vehicles across the city and is absconding. We are coordinating with the police stations where the FIRs were lodged. The cases are being investigated separately. Based on these FIRs, the police officials at the different stations are trying to track the vehicles. A manhunt has been launched for the accused and all the police stations have been alerted,” a senior Kolkata Police official said.
According to several complainants, the accused had allegedly shown photographs of himself with several actors of the film industry and senior political leaders in order to gain trust of the car owners.
Several of the complainants had lent upto five vehicles including SUVs with monthly rental of Rs 50,000 each. The accused has not paid the owners any rent over the past few months. The police are investigating on the modus operandi of the crimes and investigating whether the accused operated alone or is part of a car-lifting gang.