The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rs 69 lakh cheques diverted to dupe
- Engineer arrested for cheating Gujarat-based firm

Suave Sudipta Dasgupta thought he had committed the “perfect crime” and would get away with it. But luck ran out for him a few days ago, when he was caught by the city police for allegedly cheating his employers of Rs 69 lakh.

Working as a project manager for the Gujarat-based engineering firm, Asea Brown Bovery (ABB), Dasgupta, a 34-year-old electrical engineer, first resigned from his job and then diverted several cheques issued by his employers to a fictitious bank account opened by his friend in Calcutta.

He then withdrew the cash and was planning to flee the city with his friend, when the two were arrested.

Investigations revealed that Dasgupta kept tabs on all the companies with which ABB had regular dealings. He then targeted one particular company called “Gupta Constructions” and asked a close friend in Calcutta to float a company with an identical name.

He also asked the friend to open a fictitious bank account at a Calcutta branch of Standard Chartered Bank, where he could divert the cheques.

Dasgupta decided to resign from his job and leave for Calcutta. “His employers were all perplexed and did not know why Dasgupta suddenly decided to quit,” said a senior detective department officer of Calcutta Police, connected with the probe.

On February 14, Dasgupta handed over his resignation, but his employers did not want to let go of an efficient project manager. However, Dasgupta insisted that he was homesick and left for the city.

Dasgupta’s employers finally relented and accepted his resignation letter two months later on April 24.

By then he had already done his ground work and his friend, D. Pal, had opened a fictitious company, named “Gupta Constructions”. The company, whose cheques Dasgupta had stolen in Gujarat, has an identical name.

Dasgupta then proceeded to encash 10 cheques amounting to Rs 69 lakh and was about to flee, when the owners of the original Gupta Constructions enquired about the fate of their “payments” with ABB.

The needle of suspicion pointed towards Dasgupta who had been given the charge of handling the cheques.

A complaint was made, and soon a team from Calcutta Police proceeded to investigate the case. The police used the bank’s help in tracing D. Pal to Calcutta.

Pal tried to reason with them saying he was not to blame, but the police were not going to buy this story. Once caught, Pal spilled the beans and informed the police about Dasgupta’s whereabouts.

In police custody, Dasgupta and Pal explained how they had hatched the plot and cheated ABB. All the cash has been recovered. On Thursday, Calcutta High Court rejected Dasgupta’s bail plea and remanded him in judicial custody.

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