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Fake sleuths in robbery net

Eight men who had allegedly raided a Teghoria telecom shop on Sunday posing as CID officials and abducted its two owners were arrested on Monday morning.

The owners — Amarendrakumar Shaw and Subhas Mishra — were rescued from the home of one of the gang members in Hooghly’s Champdani. Six computers and accessories the gang had allegedly “seized” during the raid were recovered from the house.

“We are interrogating the eight men — picked up from from North 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly — to find out whether there are any more gang members,” said North 24-Parganas police superintendent Rahul Srivastava.

The eight have been identified as Kartik Singh, Bishnu Yadav, Chandan Yadav, Amit Baitha, M. Kiran, Nur Alam, Chandan Yadav and Suraj Yadav, all in their early 30s.

The gang had come to RK Telecom in a Tata Sumo around 4pm on Sunday. The members claimed they were from the CID, produced fake identity cards bearing the national emblem and told Shaw and Kumar that they would tally the shop’s stocks with purchase bills.

“They took away four desktop computers, two laptops and two inkjet printers, saying the shop did not have valid papers for the products,” said a police officer.

The robbers then said they were “arresting” Shaw and Mishra. To make the raid look real, the gang called the owner of the building, made him a “witness” to the “seizure” and the “arrest” and gave him the phone number of one of the members before leaving the spot with the duo.

The gang later allegedly told Shaw and Mishra that they would be set free if they coughed up Rs 25 lakh.

When the family members of the abducted duo learnt about the “CID raid” from the building owner, they went to Baguiati police station but the officers there denied any knowledge of the arrest. The families then lodged a complaint.

The cops laid a trap by making the building owner call the number the gang had given him and volunteer to drive the black Chevrolet Tavera of RK Telecom to the police station.

The man who answered the call asked the owner to bring the car to Dakshineswar, instead. “When the car was brought to the designated spot on Monday morning, four men appeared to take it away. They were immediately rounded up,” said a police officer.

The men told the police during interrogation that one of their aides was in Champdani and three were based at Bally in Howrah. All four were arrested.

A raid on the Champdani home revealed that the gang had confined Shaw and Mishra there.

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