From fame to shame! Billiards legend Michael Ferreira can't 'face' media

Despite reaching CST an hour before train was to depart, cops realise ‘too late’ that train had already left; take another train this morning

Michael Ferreira snapped hiding his face from mid-day photographer at the CST station. Pic/Sameer Markande

Despite reaching an hour before the train was to depart from CST, the Hyderabad police – who were taking prime accuse in the Rs 7,000-crore Qnet scam and former billiards champion Michael Ferreira along with three others to Hyderabad – somehow missed the train.

Michael Ferreira being taken to Azad Maidan Police station after missing the train. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Michael Ferreira being taken to Azad Maidan Police station after missing the train. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

The Hyderabad police had taken custody of Ferreira and the others on Monday evening from Taloja jail and had reached CST at 9pm for the train that was to depart at 9.50pm. The embarrassed Hyderabad police are now saying that it was because Ferreira is an old man they could not hurry him to board the train. The team finally took another train at 7am today.

The Hyderabad crime branch personnel along with the accused in the Qnet scam looking bewildered at having missed the train despite reaching the station early. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
The Hyderabad crime branch personnel along with the accused in the Qnet scam looking bewildered at having missed the train despite reaching the station early. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

The case
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police had arrested all the directors of Vihaan Direct Marketing (India) Pvt. Ltd, including Ferreira, Malcolm Nozer Desai, Srinivas Rao and Magaral Balaji on September 30. Last week, the Hyderabad police had submitted a production warrant before the court seeking custody of Ferreira to investigate a case registered with them. The court gave transit remand to all four accused on Friday. But, as the police couldn’t finish the paperwork on time, the Hyderabad police didn’t get custody of Ferreira on Friday.

An hour early, yet...
On Monday, the Hyderabad took Ferreira out of Taloja jail at 7 pm to catch the Hussain Sagar Superfast Express at 9.50pm from platform 9. The police team reached CST’s P D’Mello Road entrance at 9 pm.

Gurupreet Singh Anand, a complainant in the Qnet case, who was at the station last night, said, “The police team with Ferreira reached CST almost an hour before the departure time. They sat at the reception area of CST, which is five minutes from platform 9, for more than hour. If Ferreira had told the police that he couldn’t walk the distance to the platform, the police could simply have taken the jeeps to the main entrance, where all passengers board and alight from. I think this was a deliberate attempt to miss the train.”


Michael Ferreira being taken to Azad Maidan Police station after missing the train. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

DCP says
When mid-day asked Hyderabad DCP Avinash Mohanty about the incident, he said the team was already running late owing to Mumbai’s traffic. He told mid-day, “You know how bad it is. When they reached CST station, they just couldn’t manage to take the train.” When asked about whether it was negligence on the part of the team, he said Ferreira was very old and the police personnel could not force him to hurry and hence they missed the train.

At 10 pm, the police team took Ferreira and the other accused to the CST railway police station, and explained the situation to the cops there. They advised the Hyderabad cops to take the accused to Azad Maidan police station. The accused were kept at the lockup for a night and today they took the Visakhapatanam Express at 7 am, DCP Mohanty said.

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