The detective department of Kolkata Police arrested three in connection with a kidnapping racket that used to dupe job aspirants with fake offer letters for railway jobs, bring them to Kolkata and kidnap them.
“When we started an investigation last Thursday we found it was a big network that has agents across the country. Even in West Bengal they are spread over different places, including suburbs where they used to keep the aspirants locked and used to ask for ransom from their family members,” said a senior police officer.
The police nabbed Hyderabad resident Vinod from Shukantanagar (near Nalban) and Palash Das on Friday, and Jitendra Choudhury from his Rishra residence in Hooghly on Saturday.
“While Vinod is an agent from Hyderabad who used to lure job aspirants from Hyderabad, Palash was the caretaker of a house in Sukanatanagar where the aspirants were kept captive. Jitendra is one of the kingpins of the racket. Many more arrests would follow,” said a senior official of Detective Department.
All three have been remanded in police custody.
The incident came to light when Manikanta Reddy lodged a complaint with Hare Street police station on Wednesday.
The Hyderabad resident mentioned in his complaint that three of his neighbours — Vinod, Om Prakash and Raj — had came to Kolkata to work with the railways.
But once they reached Kolkata their family members are receiving phone calls asking for ransom.
The anti-rowdy squad of Detective Department jumped into action and busted the racket. They were surprised to find that Vinod was also involved in the racket. The BTech Diploma holder posed as a job aspirant and duped his friends Om Prakash and Raj and introduced them with other members of the racket.
“Initially, the youths’ families paid ` 30,000 each for the railway job. Last week they received an appointment letter where it was mentioned that they should reach Kolkata soon to undergo training. Once in Kolkata, they were kidnapped,” the officer added.
Police found out 10 to 15 more hostages at different locations like Kasba, Shukanatanagar, Rishra and other places in the city and suburbs. All of them were reunited with their families.
“Interrogating them we came to know that there were several other people who were kidnapped. But, without informing police, their family members silently took them back from the city paying ransom,” said an officer.