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Swindler of lakhs hides in Amherst Street hotel for more than a year

According to sources, Apurba Saha was arrested by tracking a cellphone number that he had been using

Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 11.01.23, 07:23 AM
Representational image.

Representational image.

File picture

A man accused of swindling lakhs of rupees out of his victims had been staying at a hotel on Amherst Street in north Kolkata for one-and-a-half years to evade arrest and had paid more than Rs 3.5 lakh as room rent, police said.

Apurba Saha, 52, was rounded up from the hotel last week.


By the time he was arrested, the hotel bill had come to Rs 3.57 lakh. Police said one of Saha’s associates, who was arrested subsequently, had been periodically paying the hotel bill.

“When Saha was arrested, only Rs 1,000 was pending,” said an officer.

Sources said the man was arrested by tracking a cellphone number that he had been using.

“He was not using any smartphone. Otherwise, it would have been easier to track him down,” said an officer of the Kolkata police’s south-east division.

“He was changing SIM cards to contact his family. We were tipped off a few weeks ago about a number the suspect had been using and started tracking it. The tower location of the SIM card was static, indicating the person using it was not moving. Finally, the suspect was tracked down to the hotel on Amherst Street,” the officer said.

While interrogating Saha, the police apparently came to know about the role of his alleged associate Soumen Acharya, 29, a resident of Beadon Street in north Kolkata.

Acharya, who was arrested after Saha was picked up, worked as a medical representative before joining hands with Saha, the officer said.

Saha is accused of forging documents to give an impression to others that he was going to start a chain of diagnostic centre and polyclinic with support of the state government.

“Using forged documents, he claimed that he was going to establish Ultracare India Healthcare and Diagnostics Private Limited, whose registered office would be on Tarak Dutta Road in Beckbagan,” the officer said.

A complaint lodged by Shekhar Bhattacharya, who is originally from Bankura district, states that the accused had duped him by first appointing him as director of the company and then by misleading the complainant and his acquaintances into investing Rs 32 lakh in the company.

The complaint says Bhattacharya was initially persuaded to transfer Rs 12 lakh to the account of Ultracare in 2019. He was then allegedly persuaded to convince at least four of his associates to transfer another Rs 20 lakh to a different account, the police said.

The accounts were in separate bank branches in the Park Circus area.

Saha and Acharya are in police remand.

Body found

Ultadanga: The body of a man, Abbas Ali, was found at Mirza Bagan Lane in northeast Kolkata’s Belgachia on Tuesday night. Police said Ali, a resident of Dakshindari, had multiple injuries on him. One person was detained in connection with the case, the police said.

Last updated on 11.01.23, 07:23 AM

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