The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Seal & sobs at BPO
- Sleuths lock Xponse during morning shift

Calcutta, Feb. 14: Workstations at Xponse fell silent and tearful techies trooped out this morning as the Narcotics Control Bureau sealed the office in the first such crackdown in Salt Lakes Sector V.

Shutters were downed and padlocks snapped on the seventh and eighth floors of Kariwala Towers, 72 hours after the arrest of Xponse CEO and IIT alumnus Sanjay Kedia on the charge of running a drugs racket in the US through the call centre in Calcutta.

Even after the arrest of the CEO, we wanted to ensure that there were no further operations from this company. Hence, the decision to seal the two offices. We have picked up several documents and other materials from the company, said Rajiv Kumar, a senior officer with the NCBs intelligence wing. We have also called three executives for interrogation, Kumar added.

Around 10.45 in the morning, a team of officers from the NCB reached the Xponse office and launched a raid, leaving the morning shift stunned.

A few employees who had logged into their workstations were asked to leave. While some of them broke down, others felt it was time to seek jobs elsewhere.

Its the end of the road for us for the time being. I will probably have to start looking for jobs elsewhere now and Im sure it wont be easy, said an employee while walking out of the Kariwala Towers.

Outside, a large crowd mostly techies from the neighbourhood stood watching.

Two senior officials of Xponse led the NCB officers through the office, helping them disconnect power lines to the computers. A little past 3 pm, the NCB officers stepped out and sealed the gates before slapping a notice each on the gates on the two floors.

Kedias lawyer C.K. Jain said the NCB officials had no right to seal the office.

I have filed a petition in the court informing it that the NCB officials were yet to hand me a copy of the list of seizures made during their February 1 raid. The staff of the company are now at the mercy of the NCB. After speaking to my client, I will probably move the high court so that the company can start operations again, Jain said.

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