It is now common knowledge that frauds don the police uniform to routinely trick victims. But it is a rarity when two policemen — one from the RAF and the other under suspension from CID — get together with some others to dupe several men of more than Rs 25 lakh.
The anti-fraud wing of the detective department, which arrested the duo, found evidence in the form of forged letterheads and signatures of joint commissioners of Kolkata and Bidhannagar police.
Sleuths also recovered fake police appointment letters, police verification letters and even medical reports from the police hospital.
Interrogating CID constable Dipu Das on Wednesday led sleuths to Tuhin Kumar Mukherjee of Howrah City Police’s RAF division. Das earlier worked as a constable in the West Bengal CID but was suspended in 2011 for fraudulent activities.
“The accused mainly targeted unemployed rural youths. They would always use vehicles with beacons and promise their prey government jobs at the earliest. The payout depended on the nature of the job being offered,” said special additional CP (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh.
The detective department of the Kolkata Police nabbed Das, driving a red beacon-fitted vehicle with a West Bengal Police sticker pasted on it. Stamps of the deputy commissioner and joint commissioner were seized from him.
According to the police, the latest con job the duo took up was to dupe people of lakhs promising them posts of constable in the Kolkata Police during the ongoing recruitment drive.
Most victims of the duo came from Sonarpur, Baruipur and the fringe areas of the city. A couple of those duped are from South Dinajpur too.
With the official vehicle and his old identity card, Das would win the confidence of victims and dupe them. So far, eight persons complained to the detective department that they were duped by Das and Mukherjee.
Preliminary investigation reveals that Mukherjee, apart from being part of a well-oiled job racket that duped hundreds of job-seekers of lakhs of rupees, also extorted money using his official position.
“There might be a large number of persons in the racket. Only a thorough interrogation will reveal the entire network. However, Mukherjee’s neighbours told us that the accused often used his position to extort money from locals,” a senior Lalbazar officer said.
He further said, “There have been a series of arrests in the last month when men posed as DCs in the Hare Street area, as STF personnel in Watgunge and as Special Branch officers of Howrah and extorted money from people.”
“We would like to reiterate that government jobs cannot be got for money. Do not believe men asking for money using their position as cops and instead check their ID cards and call their offices to report suspicious activities,” the officer added.