The detective department of Calcutta Police last week busted a city-based inter-state racket in stealing new luxury cars. The sleuths have so far arrested five persons in this connection, including the kingpin, a city businessman.
A Chevrolet and a Bolero have been impounded. They were stolen in Mumbai and Chopan, near Varanasi, respectively.
'The racket was spread throughout India, though the cars were sold only in and around Calcutta. The documents of the vehicles were forged at a city workshop,' stated Gyanwant Singh, deputy commissioner (detective department).
'We our continuing our probe. We expect to recover three more luxury cars soon. The racketeers offered the stolen cars to unsuspecting buyers at throwaway prices, saying that the owner's wife did not like the new car. They offered such low rates that the buyers seldom refused,' Singh added.
The detectives received a tip-off from a garage-owner in central Calcutta that a new Chevrolet car was being sold at Rs 4 lakh. Suspecting foul play, they investigated the deal to find that the car was stolen from a businessman in Mumbai. The forged documents of the vehicle stated that it was registered with the motor vehicles department in Hooghly.
Businessman Amit Srivastav, the kingpin of the racket, was subsequently arrested at his residence in Sahapur, in New Alipore. He ran the racket from his office in the same area. The company was named SB Financial.
Srivastav's interrogation led to further arrests. Akhtar Hussain, originally a resident of Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, was held next in the city.
Matlab Hussain, a car thief, was then arrested at Howrah, along with Kuntal Lal and Mahesh Kumar.
Srivastav's office in Alipore doubled as the workshop. The sleuths seized fake stamps, fake stamp papers, computers and other items used in forgery from there.
The cops claimed that Srivastav not only dealt in the stolen cars, but also stole the cars himself. He used electronic gadgets to deactivate the alarms in the cars.
The Bolero was recovered from Durgapur, where it had been sold to a businessman.
'The racketeers stole only new cars because even after selling them cheap, they made huge profits. The cars were brought to Calcutta by road. Their number-plates were changed before they were sold,' signed off Singh.