The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Arrest in data theft scandal
- Absconder ordered back from Delhi

Sushant Chandak, alleged middleman in a data theft scandal hitting call centres, was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Wednesday. The 29-year-old was on the run since October 2.

“We traced Chandak to a relative’s house in Delhi, where he had taken refuge along with his wife and mother. Officers asked him to come down to answer some quarries,” said Rajeev Kumar, deputy inspector-general of police (operations), CID.

“He came to our headquarters and we found a number of discrepancies in his statement in the course of interrogation. Chandak has been booked under Section 66 of the Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000, for possessing data which he was not authorised to legally have.”

Chandak’s involvement in the scam was exposed after Britain’s Channel 4 carried out a sting operation and interviewed him in Calcutta. Chandak had offered to sell a database with credit card details of 20,000 people.

He was also privy to passport numbers, driving licence numbers and personal banking details.

Chandak fled his Nagerbazar apartment in north Calcutta on Dashami, hours before the channel was to air The Data Theft Scandal, and hours after a report mentioning Calcutta’s involvement in the scandal was published in The Telegraph.

Around 9.30 am, on October 2, Chandak was seen leaving the apartment in a rickshaw with his belongings packed into three bags.

Elaborating on Chandak’s arrest, an officer working on the case said: “Our investigation hit a wall after we found his Nagerbazar residence under lock and key. His parents had apparently gone on a pilgrimage and Chandak and his wife were on the run. We started following every possible lead and finally found a distant relative of his in Delhi.”

Sleuths first contacted Chandak on Tuesday and asked him to return to Calcutta. “Initially, he was not ready to cooperate with us. We then told him that he would be arrested by Delhi police within minutes and handed over to us. So, he agreed to come to our headquarters on Wednesday,” said an officer.

Chandak reached Bhabani Bhavan around 4.30 pm on Wednesday. “During investigation we became sure that he was involved in the data theft scandal,” said Kumar, adding that Chandak will be produced in court on Thursday.

Sleuths working on the case said Chandak had collected a pile of classified information before leaving the job at a call centre in Delhi.

“Chandak appears to have come in touch with a network of agents in call centres across the country. He would collect security information and pay off the agents,” said an officer.

British police had first collected information about Chandak and contacted the Delhi headquarters of the call centre where he once worked.

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