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Fraud cuffs on trader

A 32-year-old cloth trader, believed to be mentally unstable, was arrested on Saturday evening after he pretended to be an income tax official and asked employees of a jewellery shop for business papers.

Employees of the outlet, at the crossing of AJC Bose Road and Lord Sinha Road, found the man’s behaviour suspicious and alerted Shakespeare Sarani police station.

An officer said cops went to the shop and learnt that the Howrah resident’s claim to be a taxman was false. “We arrested him and produced him in court. The magistrate granted him bail,” said the officer.

The accused, the officer said, is mentally unstable. “He is undergoing treatment and his family members produced the medical reports in court,” said an officer.

The police said the trader after entering the shop asked for the person in charge of the outlet.

“He said he was on a surprise visit to jewellery shops across the city. He also threatened that if there was any malpractice in the shop’s documents related to the sale and purchase of gold, the shop would have to pay huge penalties,” said the officer.

A section of the employees found the taxman’s behaviour unusual. “His behaviour and style of interaction made us suspicious. We asked our guard whether there was any vehicle bearing the name of a central government office parked outside the shop,” an officer quoted a shop employee as saying.

When the guard reported that no such car was parked outside the shop, the employees alerted the police.

“The man failed to produce any identity card,” said an officer of Shakespeare Sarani police station.

“We asked him to give us the contact number of his superior, which he failed to do. We then called his family members, who said he was a small-time cloth trader.”