Aloke Chatterjee being taken to court on Friday. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya
A 35-year-old accountant’s penchant for the good life landed him behind bars on Friday morning.
Aloke Chatterjee, a senior executive accountant with a medical transcription firm in Gariahat, was arrested for embezzlement. He also had seven credit cards whose credit limits he had exceeded and two PAN cards.
“He got the managing director of his company to sign on two blank cheques and withdrew over Rs 8 lakh from the company’s account in SBI’s Gariahat branch. The money was deposited in his accounts in two banks,” said C.S. Sinha of Globe Detective Agency, which was engaged by the company to investigate the fraud.
Chatterjee, who had been working with the company for eight years, had stopped going to office from March 13, the day his company officials asked for his bank statements.
The firm lodged a complaint with Gariahat police station the same day, after they discovered the fraud.
Sinha and his team, along with Gariahat police and Thakurpukur police, traced Chatterjee to his new residence in Thakurpukur. “We arrested Chatterjee at 2.30am on Friday. He has been remanded in police custody till May 2,” said an officer of Gariahat police station.
Chatterjee had moved from his Bamacharan Roy Road home to Thakurpukur with his wife and son on March 1 but didn’t inform anyone. Sleuths traced him by following his wife.
According to Sinha, Chatterjee, whose monthly pay was Rs 12,000, and his wife lived beyond their means. “They would party every other night and spend heavily on their credit cards. His son’s school was expensive too,” he said. Sleuths believe the embezzled amount also went towards paying for the Thakurpukur flat, which was in his wife’s name.
Psychologists feel the shift from an aesthetic-based value system to a materialistic one has skewed the morals of many of the modern generation. “Earlier people stole to survive, but now people like Chatterjee steal to spend on luxury items,” said psychologist Moharmala Chatterjee.
Sociologist Prasanta Roy said Aloke Chatterjee had a criminal disposition and manipulated people to make easy money.