A Bangladeshi national has been arrested in Kolkata after stealing money from businessmen in several markets of the city over the last several months. Salim Mohammad was finally arrested by Kolkata police after he was caught on CCTV exchanging a money-filled bag with a similar-looking bag. He was arrested on Sunday near the SS Hogg Market, popularly known as the New Market in Kolkata.
Kolkata police had received several complaints of bag-lifting from Burrabazar, New Market and other market areas in last several months, and it is suspected that Salim was behind them. After this, the police started monitoring the CCTV footage, and in two separate incidents of the person targeting unsuspecting businessmen was seen a few days ago. After that, he was tracked down to a hotel in Bowbazar area in Kolkata.
According to police sources, Salim Mohammad has stolen around Rs 2 crores over the last six months from several busy market areas in Kolkata city. He used to monitor the movements of shopkeepers in the evening at the time of closing the shops for his operation. After identifying a target shopkeeper who carries the day’s cash collection in a bag, he would wait near the shop at the time of closing, and the moment shopkeeper gets distracted by some reason, he would immediately steal the bag. Sometimes he used to arrange a similar-looking bag to replace the money-filled bag so that the businessmen will not realise immediately that he has been robbed.
Salim Mohammad is a resident of Narayanganj in Dhaka, and he had stayed in several hotels in Kolkata showing passport and visa. Despite having the documents, he had entered India illegally, although it is not clear whether his passport and visa are valid or not. He had sent the robbed money to Bangladesh using money transfer services. Several lakhs of rupees were recovered from Salim at the time of his arrest. According to police, Salim has stolen more than 40 bags filled with money in the last 6 months.
Salim Mohammad was produced at the Bankshall court in Kolkata on Monday, and the court sent him to police custody till 30th November. A police investigation is on to find out whether he worked alone or is he part of a larger gang.