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Cops hunt down CSE scam mastermind

Calcutta, Nov. 20: Calcutta Police today arrested fugitive stock broker Dinesh Kumar Singhania—the prime accused in the Rs 120-crore payment scam that rocked the Calcutta Stock Exchange in March last year.

Singhania was a close associate of Ketan Parekh, the Mumbai-based broker, who has been held largely responsible for the market upheaval in 2000-01. The arrest of Singhania is likely to put Calcutta Police on the trail of Parekh.

The police described today’s catch as “a major breakthrough”. Sleuths of Calcutta Police led by Swapan Dasgupta, officer-in-charge of the special cell of the detective department, arrested Singhania from his Salt Lake residence this evening.

Dinesh Singhania had fled Calcutta soon after the police started investigating the payment crisis towards the end of September. With Dinesh absconding, the police then rounded up his brothers Basudeo and Bijay, and his nephew Gopal.

Subsequently, the police arrested two other relatives—Rajkumar Agarwal and Surinder Jain. “Lyons Range was rife with rumours that Dinesh would turn himself in after Diwali. He did not, but the police finally got the better of his defiance by arresting half-a-dozen of his relatives and associates,” brokers said.

The police said Singhania had spent most of the last one-and-a-half months in Rajasthan, where yet another accused—Ashok Poddar—is believed to be hiding along with his wife.

Together, the three defaulters—Singhania, Poddar and Harish Chandra Biyani—owe CSE around Rs 30 crore each. The police have so far arrested 16, including Biyani. They are now on the lookout for Poddar.

They are also on the trail of Dinesh Dalmia, promoter and managing director of DSQ Software. A warrant has already been issued for his arrest, sources in Lalbazar said.

Besides the defaulters and their associates, the police have arrested B. V. Goud, former managing director of Stock Holding Corporation of India Ltd and S. N. Paul, a senior vice-president of IndusInd Bank, for allegedly colluding with the errant brokers.

Meanwhile, trading on Calcutta Stock Exchange came to a complete standstill on the third day of the brokers’ strike, with not a single share being traded on the bourse today.

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