Durgapur trader with chit fund link kidnapped

A Durgapur businessman who police said was an agent of a fraud chit fund company that allegedly swindled around Rs 400 crore out of its investors in 2009 was kidnapped yesterday. Arup Saha alias Babu, 40, who owns a catering company, travel agency and a sweet shop, was dragged into a red SUV yesterday afternoon by a gang of eight youths on Hostel Avenue of Durgapur Steel Plant township where he had gone to finalize a business deal.
Officers at Durgapur police station, where Saha’s wife Rita lodged a complaint of kidnapping last night, said, “Saha was an agent of Sun Finance, a chit fund agency that allegedly swindled 32,000 investors out of Rs 400 crore four years ago. He even Shantanu Chakraborty went into hiding for about two months when the agency’s owner, Shantanu Chakraborty was found murdered in 2010. “It was suspected that investors had murdered Shantanu Chakraborty. Earlier, he had been arrested when he failed to return the money to the investors but was released on bail in 2010. Within two weeks, his body was found in a ditch along NH2,” the officer added.
Swapan Majhi, one of Saha’s employees who had accompanied him on Saha’s bike to Hostel Avenue, for finalizing some catering deal, said, “Sahababu was talking to Pandeyji (whom he had gone to meet) near the football ground along Hostel Avenue when a speeding Sumo screeched to a halt. Eight youths got down and asked which one of the two was Saha. Pandeyji pointed out Sahababu and they dragged him inside. I fled. But I saw Pandeyji getting into the car as well”.
Sources said Saha, who had gone into hiding fearing for his life after the owner’s murder, returned to Durgapur after two months and set up a number of businesses. He bought five steel plant quarters and remodelled them into a bungalow.
“We are exploring all angles. Saha’s cell phone is switched off,” said S.S. Murugan, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (East).
The youths, according to police: “was after him demanding reimbursement of cash worth Rs 10 lakh that they collectively had deposited in the trade.” Mr. Sunil Yadav, ADCP (East) said today: “We have almost identified the persons behind the kidnapping.” The victim’s family, however, hasn’t received any ransom call as yet.
According to one of Saha’s employees, the trader had got threat calls from several investors over the past couple of months. “They were demanding their money back,” he said, adding: “Sahababu was planning to launch a money marketing company.”
Saha’s wife Rita said: “My husband has no enmity with anybody. I will not speak any more on this.”

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