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Raids on clues to catch Laxman cheats

A Hyderabad police team has raided several places in Calcutta, including Salt Lake and Teghoria, over the past two days accompanied by the Malda man arrested for allegedly siphoning Rs 10 lakh off cricketer-tuned-commentator V.V.S. Laxman’s bank account.

The raids didn’t result in any arrest, though.

“The officers got the transit remand and were authorised to take Izazul Haq to Hyderbad on Saturday. But they chose to scan the leads and raid the places in the city that Haq mentioned during interrogation,” said Arnab Ghosh, the deputy commissioner of detective department, Bidhannagar Commissionerate.

The police said Haq, a resident of Kaliachak in Malda, could be a member of an inter-state gang that has operators in Calcutta and the outskirts.

Officers of Bidhannagar Commissionerate have guided the team from Hyderabad during the raids, an officer said.

Haq will be taken to the Andhra Pradesh capital on Tuesday.

Ghosh said Haq has claimed that a businessman from Calcutta had hired him along with a dozen other men in August last year as lottery agents. They were asked to open savings accounts at several bank branches.

“Haq said his employer had told him that money would be credited into his bank account every now and then. He has to withdraw the money and give it to him. He would get a cut for the job.”

Haq had apparently left his Malda home in 2004 and did odd jobs in Mumbai and Calcutta. “Though he claimed to be a lottery agent, his name features as a proprietor of the fledgling firm that he had joined in August last year. The Salt Lake account was also linked to the same company and opened three months ago,” said Ghosh.

“The officers are working on some important clues,” he said without elaborating.

The police are looking for the businessman and Haq’s so-called 12 colleagues. They went to the office of Galaxy Enterprise — a construction firm on Canal Street — where Haq was allegedly employed. It was locked and vacant.

They raided a rented house at Chinar Park near City Centre New Town where Haq used to live with a colleague. The house was empty.

The officers raided several other places in Calcutta but no arrest, barring Haq, has been made till Monday.

The 28-year-old Malda man was arrested from the Salt Lake branch of Bank of India on Friday afternoon after the bank manager alerted the officer-in-charge of Bidhannagar North police station about a transaction of Rs 10 lakh to his account through netbanking.

The bank was not aware that the money came from Laxman’s account, though the former cricketer had lodged a complaint with Cyberabad police. By evening, Salt Lake police chief Rajeev Kumar got an alert from his Cyberabad counterpart.

Haq was arrested as he failed to explain how the money came to his account.