The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Husband swipes cards for a lakh

The trail of murky money matters twisted from a companion to a husband on Thursday. Even as Arun Das was confessing to his crime, police in another part of town were arresting a businessman for picking his wife’s purse.

Subrata Sengupta was picked up from his Jadavpur residence for stealing four of his wife’s credit cards and using them to make purchases worth Rs 1 lakh.

An employee of an insurance company (name withheld on request) had lodged a complaint on September 21 with the detective department that four of her credit cards were missing.

“She told us her cards had been stolen a couple of days before she came to us and a lakh had already been withdrawn from her account. The four credit cards, from four separate banks, had been used several times in two days,” said an officer of the anti-fraud section of the detective department.

“First, we approached the owner of a shop on APC Road, from where most of the goods had been bought, according to the records received from the banks. The owner and the other employees gave us a description of a man who had frequented the shop those two days,” added the official.

A computer-generated image formed the basis of a hunt. “Last week, we picked up Tarak Das, who was immediately recognised by the salesmen at the shop. During interrogation, Das initially feigned ignorance but later confessed that he was being used by Sengupta,” said Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner of police (detective department).

Only after Sengupta was finally picked up and interrogated did the sleuths stumble upon the twist in the tale — the accused businessman was the complainant’s husband.

“We were surprised… He admitted that he had stolen the credit cards from his wife’s purse after she refused to give him money,” said Mitra.

Sengupta’s business had run into trouble and he would frequently turn to his wife for a bailout. After footing his bills for a long time, she finally started refusing his repeated requests for funds.

Sengupta told the sleuths both he and his wife had been married before. They had met two years ago at a party and fallen in love. The relationship had soured over the past few months, primarily over money matters, and they had often been living separately — she in her Behala apartment and he at Jadavpur.

“When we informed the complainant that her stolen cards had been retrieved, she was relieved. But that soon turned to shock when we told her who had swiped them,” said an official. “She seemed very disturbed and would probably not have complained if she had suspected who the culprit was.”

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