After trailing them for the past 15 days, police picked up the wife and daughter of Sukumar Choudhury, managing director of a city-based computer firm accused of cheating 450 students of Rs 2 crore in the past couple of years by promising them jobs abroad.
Acting on a tip-off, Burdwan police on Thursday raided a hotel where the family had checked in. Sukumar managed to give them the slip.
The Choudhurys had, apparently, taken a train from Delhi and reached Burdwan on Wednesday. Burdwan police have alerted their South 24-Parganas counterparts and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) about the development.
Special inspector-general of police, CID, V.V. Thambi, said: “Sukumar Choudhury has been on the run for the past 15 days. He was managing director of Gentech Software Private Limited, in Salt Lake, that had lured students with five-year job contracts, mainly as IT professionals, in the US. He had even directed the students to deposit their passports and sign visa forms and promised to arrange work permits, as well.”
The cheated students — who had paid Choudhury between Rs 30,000 and Rs 75,000 — lodged a complaint with the Jadavpur police station on November 23, following which Choudhury’s Salt Lake and Jodhpur Park offices were sealed, Thambi added.
According to Atanu Das and Reena Chatterjee, two students of the institute, Choudhury had mentioned during the initial “pre-session interviews’’ that they would be suitably placed in the US after completing an 18-month training course in information technology, hotel management or hospital services.
“In August, Choudhury told us that the US companies were finalising our contracts and we should pack our bags and get ready to leave any day,’’ they added. Choudhury told them that they could collect their visas from the American consulate in Chennai or authorise him or his representatives to collect the visas on their behalf.
When the students were told that the visas would be ready by November 20, some of them decided to go down to Chennai.
“On November 21, we got a message from our colleagues in Chennai that the US authorities were unaware of any such visa applications from Calcutta. We tried to contact Choudhury at his Salt Lake residence but learnt that he had already left the place with his family a couple of days ago,’’ Atanu said. He had coughed up Rs 55,000 in two instalments.
Kaushik Choudhury, another victim, paid Rs 50,000, while Kartik Mandal deposited Rs 73,500.