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Youth drives into cop trap

- Driver steals car while family feasts at wedding

A man drove away with a Mahindra XUV-500 within a day of being hired by a family to drive the vehicle.

The driver, Kaushik Bera alias Babon of Thakurpukur, was arrested on Sunday night, a fortnight after the theft, when he went to meet his girlfriend in the stolen car, not realising it was a trap laid by police.

Bera had been hired by Shambhu Chatterjee, a real estate developer.

“Chatterjee had told some of his friends that he was looking for a driver and there was no reason for him to be suspicious when Bera met him and offered to take up the job,” said Pallab Kanti Ghosh, the joint commissioner (crime).

Bera was employed right away and the next day the Chatterjees, residents of Roy Bahadur Road in Behala, asked him to drive them to a wedding in north Calcutta.

“Bera drove the family to Tallah, had dinner with them at the wedding and left, pretending to wait in the car,” an officer said.

When the Chatterjees stepped out around an hour later, they could not find the car. Repeated calls to Bera’s mobile phone revealed the phone was switched off.

Realising that the vehicle has been stolen, the Chatterjees reported the theft to Tallah police station the same night, April 11.

“Initially we had no information about the accused except his name. We got his address with the help of his mobile phone number,” the officer said.

Acting on a tip-off, the cops contacted Bera’s girlfriend and asked her to call him to a specific location. “Just as we had hoped, Bera turned up to meet the woman with the car to impress her. We arrested him from the spot on Sunday night,” the officer added.

The XUV-500, worth anything between Rs 11lakh and Rs 15lakh, was seized.

The police are trying to find out if Bera was involved in an inter-state car theft racket but no such link has been established yet.

Airport arrests

Three persons were arrested at Calcutta airport on Monday for importing 3.1kg of gold worth Rs 95 lakh without paying any duty.

Airport officials said Ayesha Khatun arrived from Hong Kong with 1kg of gold in her trouser pockets. Fazlul Rehman of Delhi and Ram Ratan of UP arrived from Bangkok, each carrying 2kg of gold concealed in television stands. Another person accompanying them was also carrying 700g of gold, which was seized. The person was allowed to go.

Accident

A 35-year-old woman died after she was hit by a bus in Howrah on Monday morning. Police said Kasturi Ghosh, a Shibpur resident, was walking home after dropping her son to school when she was hit by the bus.