A 45-year-old man claiming to be a peon at Trinamool Congress (TMC) office in Kolkata allegedly duped policemen from Madhya Pradesh’s Harda district in the name of helping them crack a kidnapping case and bust fake Indian currency racket.
Masood Hussain, a resident of Kolkata’s Eqbalpur locality, was arrested by the Harda police from the West Bengal capital recently. He is now lodged at the Harda jail after five days of questioning by police.
Harda superintendent of police Aditya Pratap Singh said a girl was allegedly kidnapped from Harda a few months back.
“In October, a senior police official at the state police headquarters in Bhopal got a phone call from Kolkata claiming he had a tip-off about the kidnappers who were eyeing ₹5 lakh ransom for the girl’s release,” said Singh.
A Harda police team left for Kolkata and met Hussain, who assured them of helping crack the case in return for ₹50,000 as reward. He also told the team about a fake Indian currency racket in Harda.
Falling in Hussain’s trap, the Harda police helped him buy a new Andriod cellphone worth ₹8,000 and paid him some cash.
“Hussain was paid ₹20,000 in cash and kind. He promised to help us nab the kidnappers the next day by enticing them to Howrah railway station,” said Singh.
The police team reached the Howrah station the next day but Hussain was nowhere to be traced. His phone was sounding switched off.
After returning empty-handed, the Harda police booked Hussain for kidnapping thinking that he was part of the alleged kidnappers.
“We gathered details of the phone numbers from which he had made calls to us. A CDR analysis revealed that the caller had used six cell phones to call from eight different phone numbers. Maximum calls were made to senior police officers spanning from ranks of IG to ADG and DG in different states, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Punjab, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu,” said Singh.
After analysing Hussain’s call details, another Harda police team was sent to Kolkata in December. Along with local police, the MP cops started working in the case.
“Our men came to know from Kolkata police that Punjab and Mumbai counterparts too had been in Kolkata recently in search of the same man in similar types of matters,” the SP Harda said.
Hussain was arrested on the charge of fraud with the Kolkata police’s help, and was brought to Harda on five days’ remand.
“During questioning, Hussain told the police he worked as a peon at a TMC office in Kolkata and used the clout of that place to call senior police officials across the country in the name of helping them crack blind cases,” said Singh.
“We have informed cops in different state police whose senior officials were rung by Hussain while posing as a trusted informer. He has also worked on similar modus operanding with cops in Bhopal and Khandwa districts in the past,” the Harda SP said.
Both Harda and Kolkata cops are also searching a key aide of the arrested man, whose nabbing would help them know further about their fraudulent operations.