A 62-year-old businessman who impersonated parliamentarians was arrested on Wednesday in south Delhi’s Safdarjung Enclave for allegedly confining a woman, believed to be from Russia, triggering suspicion he may be part of an international sex racket.
The 23-year-old woman was found locked in a bathroom of suspect Pritindra Nath Sanyal’s home. She accused him of keeping her there for two weeks against her will.
Sources said Sanyal allegedly smuggled young girls and women from Russia and Turkey, confiscated their passports and sent them to parties held at farmhouses of businessmen and politicians.
His clients included politicians and cricketers, police suspect, but no senior officer came on record to confirm the allegation.
A senior Indian cricketer’s wedding reception was organised allegedly by Sanyal at a retired army colonel’s farmhouse, a source said. The retired soldier, who is on the run, is suspected to be the lynchpin of the racket operating for the past five years.
The rescued foreigner told police she was sent to Sanyal’s flat by the retired colonel.
Police said Sanyal is a master impersonator who had posed as a parliamentarian and a senior bureaucrat to dupe government officials into favouring business deals for himself and his clients.
A team of income tax officials busted his alleged wheeling and dealing in June after a tip-off. Searches at Sanyal’s properties in Delhi and Lucknow revealed his alleged involvement in human trafficking, especially of women from central Asian countries who are used as sex slaves.
Photocopies of around a dozen passports belonging to women from central Asian countries, and their contact numbers, were recovered from his flats in Safdarjung Enclave and Vasant Kunj of Delhi, and at Gomti Nagar in Lucknow.
Contact numbers of women from abroad and alleged clients of the racket, besides forged letterheads and stamps of parliamentarians were recovered from Sanyal’s flats, police said. Sanyal was apparently impersonating these MPs.
DCP Ishwar Singh said: “Sanyal used to impersonate as MPs or senior bureaucrats to influence government officials. He had influenced a senior IAS officer by posing as Samajwadi Party MP, Naresh Agarwal. We have recovered blank letterheads of BJP MP Jagdambika Pal, which had his forged signature.”
Pal, the Lucknow parliamentarian, told a news agency that he does not know anyone named Sanyal.
“I have been in politics for over 35 years. And I have never issued any blank letterheads to anyone in my entire career, not even to my wife. If someone has used my name, police must probe and give the strictest punishment under the law to him,” he said.
Agarwal couldn’t be contacted for his response.