After trying to track him down for the past four months, police on Saturday finally managed to trap Sukumar Choudhury, the man who has duped students of Rs 5 crore, holding out the promise of finding them jobs abroad.
Deputy superintendent of police (DSP), South 24-Parganas, Subhankar Chatterjee said Choudhury was on the run from November last year. We were playing the cat-and-mouse game till we received a tip-off about his whereabouts. We received information that Choudhury had come to the city and was hiding in a house in Joka. We had also learnt that he had changed his appearance to avoid detection, Chatterjee said.
The house was raided and Choudhury picked up. The students, who had complained against him, turned up at Jadavpur police station and identified him, he added. Police seized several passports and incriminating documents from him. Choudhury had escaped from the city in December last year, after collecting a huge amount of money from students with promises of providing them jobs in the US and the UK.
Police said Choudhury confessed to investigators on Sunday that he had left the city fearing arrest and had been wandering around in Delhi and Lucknow for the past few months.
Acting on a tip-off, Burdwan police had picked up his wife and children from a hotel there, while they were returning to the city from Delhi a couple of months ago. Choudhury, too, was at the hotel, but managed to slip out before the police arrived.
Police said Choudhury started a company, Gentec Computers, which he advertised as an agency that trained students in information technology, hotel management and the medical sector, with an assurance of providing employment in firms in the US and the UK. DSP Chatterjee said: The training period varied from an year to one-and-a-half years and Choudhury collected a fee of between Rs 60,000 and Rs 80,000 from each student.
Rina Chatterjee, a victim who had complained to the police, said Choudhury collected their passports and directed the students to wait for a while. We trusted him with our passports and other documents. But, then, there was no word from him. We inquired at his office, to find it locked. After trying in vain to trace him, we lodged a complaint with Jadavpur police station, she said. She and a dozen other students lodged a complaint with the police station on November 26, 2002.
Choudhury had offered franchise to a person in Kalyani West End Computers to recruit students. We arrested Bablu Das, an agent of Choudhury in Kalyani, and sealed the office there, Chatterjee said. Choudhury had opened a branch office at Gariahat Road (South).