White-collar crime a worrying trend in Kolkata (Feature)December 2nd, 2009 - 12:26 pm ICT by IANS
By Soudhriti Bhabani
Kolkata, Dec 2 (IANS) Pradip Das was shocked to hear from his office assistant that two bike-borne men had snatched Rs.250,000 from him when he went to deposit it in the bank. And another jolt came to the construction firm owner when police told him that the assailants were smart, educated English-speaking youths.
After a two-month wait, Das has now got his money back but not the whole amount. “I received only Rs.57,550 after the city police’s detective department got hold of the culprits this week and returned me the money,” the businessman said.
Senior Kolkata Police detective department officers revealed that the arrests had helped unearth a new and rising trend of white-collar crime in the city.
“We’ve altogether arrested five people, all aged between 22 and 30, in connection with at least four similar cases in Kolkata. We have also seized their motorbikes. All of them were educated, decent-looking youths who are extremely conversant with English and belong to well-off families,” Kolkata Police (Detective Department) Deputy Commissioner Damayanti Sen told IANS.
An official said the city police cracked the case after watching CCTV footage of the bank, where Das’ assistant went to draw the amount.
“We thoroughly watched the movement of the man inside the bank and found out the offender by his suspicious movements. It took two months to track the perpetrator,” the senior city police detective department official said.
He said these groups, comprising smart youths from public schools operate in different modules across the city. During their operation, one member of the team stays inside the bank and keeps track of all the banking activities. The member monitors who is drawing how much. That time, four people in high pick-up motorcycles wait outside the building.
“The moment a person comes out of the bank with money, the member, who stays inside, gives a signal to his fellow team members and subsequently they start following the customer. As and when the bikers get a chance, they snatch the bag from the man and whisk off on their motorbikes,” the official said.
He said these groups also operate at different important traffic signals and snatch valuables from commuters.
“We’ve seen in most of the cases that these youths came into this trade because of drug addiction, unemployment and their excessive demand for material pleasure. They are well-educated and belong to good social background.
“Some of them initially start taking drugs and after some time they jump into the crime to spin out easy bucks by snatching and lifting things,” the official said.
He said the city police had cracked a case recently where they found a well-educated youth involved in the crime. The youth completed his study from a very reputed convent school in Kolkata and got involved in drug addiction during his school days. The man was arrested by the city police detective department officers from the Kaurya area.
“His mother is presently working as a teacher in a higher secondary English-medium school and his father is retired,” the police officer added.
According to Kolkata Police, all problems relating to addiction are sympathetically looked after by trained police officers with the help of counsellors.
City-based psychiatrists term this type of tendencies as late puberty syndrome when many youths indulge in criminal activities due to lack of parental value system in their families.
“We often see this type of cases when youths suffering from inadequate parental teaching and guidance often take part in different activities. If that person comes in contact with bad circle and gang culture, he easily gets influenced by the ill activities and indulges himself in organised crime,” a clinical psychologist associated with city-based CMRI hospital Rajyasree Bandhopadhyay told IANS.
She said such traits, however, depend on the core personality of an individual.
(Soudhriti Bhabani can be contacted at email@example.com)
Tags: assailants, businessman, city police, construction firm, conversant, crime in the city, culprits, damayanti, deputy commissioner, fellow team members, jolt, money, motorbikes, motorcycles, office assistant, perpetrator, police detective, pradip, suspicious movements, white collar crime