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Bengal chit fund scam: How Sudipta Sen was caught in a typical manhunt

Saradha Group chief Sudipta Sen, who was on the run since his chit fund went bust last week, was finally arrested on Tuesday from a hotel in Sonmarg, Kashmir along with his aides Debjani Mukhopadhyay and Arvind Singh Chouhan.

Times of India reported that Sen left an easy-to-follow trail by using an SUV with Bengal number plates, staying in expensive hotels and flashing cash all along the way and finally choosing to hide in Kashmir where he would have to show his ID card everywhere he went. Also, by leaving behind his personal driver Bapi at Ranchi, he gave police the first big lead in tracking him down.

Image courtesy: Ibnlive

Image courtesy: Ibnlive

In Kolkata, Bidhannagar Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar said, "Three persons have been detained in Sonmarg area of Jammu and Kashmir. The police there have identified them as Sudipta Sen, Debjani Mukherjee and Arvind Singh Chauhan."

What did him in was a white Scorpio and a crack team following it through toll plazas and CCTV cameras from different hotels, reported IBN-Live.

Since last week, several offices of Saradha Group in different parts of Bengal have been ransacked by hapless agents, after many of the cheques issued by the group bounced. With a huge default in repayments, the group is on the verge of collapse.

Sen, Debjani and Arvind left Kolkata at 4am on 10 April in a white Scorpio driven by Bapi. They reached Ranchi by afternoon, where Sen ditched the vehicle and asked Bapi to return home. They checked into a hotel, got into another white Scorpio with Bengal number plates and went off the next day, said the Times of India report.

The West Bengal government had already ordered Sen’s arrest. Last week, when the Bidhannagar police station, CID and the Kolkata police tried to act against Saradha Group chairman, he fled.

The trio reached Srinagar on Monday evening and booked a room in Arvind's name, say police. They gave their residence as New Delhi, Ganderbal SP Shahid Ahmed told Times of India and added that Kashmir police noted the WB number plates and raided the hotel.

Meanwhile, a Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Calcutta High Court for a CBI inquiry against the Saradha Group. The petition urges the court to appoint a receiver to seize properties of chit fund companies to auction them and pay back depositors.

With inputs from PTI