Neither the Central Bureau of Investigation nor Interpol could crack it. But a Delhi-based private eye solved a case of bank fraud in Singapore, for which the World Association of Detectives recently named him ‘Investigator of the Year’.
Kunwar Vikram Singh (59) became the first Asian to get the award, at the WAD annual conference in Tokyo on August 24.
The case: in August 1999, Salwant Singh, a Singaporean of Indian origin, fled with his family to India after stealing $12 million through a credit card fraud. His company, Infoseek Telecommunications, charged hundreds of people for calls they never made.
The Singapore police immediately notified Interpol, who roped in the CBI. A nationwide manhunt was to no avail. A year later, the bank hired Kunwar Singh, who began by building Salwant's psychological profile.
“This revealed he would have hid somewhere in Punjab, bought expensive cars, and would be planning a similar fraud in India,” says Kunwar Singh. The private eye went through a list of Mercedes buyers in Punjab. He got a lead, and on February 27, 2001, he spotted Salwant in the south Delhi's INA market. After a fist fight he nabbed his man.
“He offered me half the booty to let him go, but I refused,” says Kunwar Singh. He was extradited to Singapore in 2002, where he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.