Satyendra Chowdhury has apparently told the police that he had sold one of the phones he had used to make ransom calls to the families of Atanu Dey and Abhishek Naskar, the 16-year-olds he had allegedly kidnapped and killed on August 22.
The police said they were trying to recover the phone and his motorcycle, which he was using till Thursday.
A team of CID officers took Chowdhury to a place in Kolkata where he claimed to have sold his phone.
Sleuths who spoke to Chowdhury, who was arrested on Friday morning from the office of a travel agency near Howrah station, said he was silent when questioned about the motive of the twin murders.
He apparently told the cops that he had no intention of paying his four accomplices the Rs 8 lakh he had promised them for helping him kill the boys.
“He is saying he killed the two boys because he did not want to return the Rs 50,000 that he took from Atanu. When asked how he promised Rs 2 lakh to each of his four accomplices when he had only Rs 50,000 to gain, he said he had no intention of paying them. He said he was planning to flee to Mumbai,” said an officer who had questioned him.
Atanu gave the money to Chowdhury for a second-hand bike that he had apparently promised to deliver to the teenager.
When told that the murder motive he cited was untenable, Chowdhury apparently remained silent.
The police said they learned that Chowdhury and his aides had hired two rooms in a small hotel for four days before August 22.
“It is apparent he spent more than Rs 50,000 just to gather his accomplices and for arranging the logistics,” an officer said.
On the night of the incident, Satyendra and his friend Abhijit Bose — who was the first to be arrested — had returned to the New Town hotel after dumping the bodies in Basirhat, in North 24-Parganas district, the officer said.
The other three members of the gang returned home.
“The duo checked out of the hotel the next day (August 23). Abhijit went home to Howrah, while Chowdhury left on his motorcycle. He did not return home to Baguiati,” the officer said.
On analysing call details of Chowdhury’s phones, the police have found that he was moving through Howrah, Hooghly, Bardhaman and Kolkata.
“Some of his tower locations were Dankuni, Memari and Beleghata. But it was getting difficult to catch him because he was using a phone only for a few seconds and then replacing the SIM card. It was difficult to predict his next location as he kept switching off his phone,” said an investigator.
The police tracked him around Howrah in the last 48 hours and were waiting for him to commit another mistake.
“He committed his last mistake by making a call. He made the call to a relative for money,” the officer said. Chowdhury has been remanded in police custody for 14 days.