The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Former footballer caught on the fraud ball

For 10 years till 1993, he was known for his skills on the football field. But, since then, he has taken to mastering the tricks of the con man’s trade.

The son of a former chief engineer with Indian Oxygen, 35-year-old Sajal Chakraborty would have continued to make easy money by posing as a CBI official had the police not got a whiff of his activities.

Complete with an authentic-looking ID card that carried the logo of the central investigating agency, Chakraborty would use his streetsmart ways to extract money from people. His earnings ranged between Rs 15,000 and Rs 50,000, the police said.

He had laid the trap for another catch when the Entally police cornered him around noon on Saturday. The footballer turned con man was rounded up from the campus of Nilratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital while he was waiting to score his next “goal”.

Police recovered the fake identity card with Chakraborty’s name and designation. He had designated himself a “senior inspector”. Several other papers, including a passport, were seized from him.

“We have handed over the accused to the security control department,” said A.B. Majumdar, officer-in-charge, Entally police station.

A resident of Kalyani, Chakraborty had played a number of first-division football matches representing reputed clubs. He started playing his new “game” five years ago.

“After studying in an English-medium school, he graduated from a south Calcutta college. He then joined a football club and earned a name on the Maidan in the late Eighties as a stopper. He played first division matches for Barisha Sporting Club, Bhratri Sangha and Kidderpore clubs till 1992,” said Majumdar.

But during his football days, he took to a life of luxury and began to bend it like a bandit. “He became a playboy and his ways became expensive, so much so that after leaving the game, he found it difficult to maintain his standard of living,” said an Entally police station official.

He then decided to lay hands on cash through the fast track — illegally.

“He first prepared a fake diplomatic international passport to convince people that he was a high-profile official,” said the officer. “He then made the ID card. His plan succeeded as most people do not know what a CBI ID card looks like.”

In fact, the card worked like a credit card, the difference being he could draw money without having to repay. He borrowed huge amounts from moneylenders. “The moment they asked him to pay back, Chakraborty showed them the identity card. He would threaten them with implication on false charges if they dared to spill the beans,” said the official.

“We came to know about him last week. We were told that a youth describing himself as a CBI officer was moving around in our area,” said Majumdar.

“We laid a trap and nabbed him. During interrogation, he broke down and confessed to all his fraudulent actions and his modus operandi.”

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