Conman who duped Pune techies of crores gives Haryana police the slip

Oct 23, 2014, 07:30 IST | Chaitraly Deshmukh

The Haryana police had sought the accused’s custody from the Hadapsar police, which had arrested him in August; the Diwali rush on trains gave him the chance to escape before the police could take him to Haryana

A notorious conman, who had duped IT professionals in Pune to the tune of crores of rupees, managed to escape from police custody. At the time of the escape, he was in the custody of the Haryana police, who had sought his custody after the Hadapsar police arrested him in August.

Kaliprasad Sabukar Rath
Kaliprasad Sabukar Rath escaped from the Haryana police’s clutches on Monday, breaking out of a bathroom window at a lodge situated near Pune railway station

The incident came to light when Haryana police’s Sub-inspector Pawankumar Malik lodged a complaint with the Bund Garden police station on Monday, against Kaliprasad Sabukar Rath (32), who hails from Odisha. Rath was arrested by the Hadapsar police in August for allegedly duping more than 400 software professionals of R3 crore. He and his wife, Twinkle Holkar, were arrested and later held at the Yerawada Central Prison.

Police Sub-inspector Prasad Lonare from Hadapsar police station, who had arrested Rath in August, said, “Rath is highly educated and has a BTech degree. Initially, he was arrested by the New Delhi police for allegedly robbing cash and jewellery from the owner of a house where he was staying, and was also charged in another case for duping some 30 people in Delhi through insurance policy schemes. He was arrested and released on bail by a Delhi court on the condithat he repay the amount to the victims. Later, in October 2013, he came to Pune and started a software firm in Magarpatta.”

Job scam
Lonare added, “He hired some 50 employees and techies, and also started taking money from other IT professionals for finding them jobs abroad. In this manner, he duped some 400 people to the tune of R2 crore. He would take R50,000 to R1 lakh from each person, with the promise of a job in foreign countries. Rath was arrested along with his wife, Twinkle Holkar. Holkar got bail on medical grounds. After the news of Rath’s escape came to light, we found the wife missing as well.”

According to Inspector Sharad Ugale, from Bund Garden police station, the Haryana police had sought Rath’s custody and took him in on Sunday. Rath was wanted by the Haryana police in a cheating case, and a non-bailable warrant had been issued against him.

However, when the police tried to book train tickets to return to Haryana with Rath, they discovered that all the tickets had been sold out due to Diwali holidays. So, they decided to board at Hotel Homeland, a lodge situated near Pune railway station.

On Monday evening, the team was supposed to take a train to Haryana. But that very morning, around 6.30 am, Rath went to the bathroom on the pretext of taking a bath. After more than 20 minutes had passed without Rath emerging from the bathroom, PSI Malik smelt a rat. He knocked on the door, but did not get any response.

He then broke the door down and discovered that Rath had given them the slip. “He escaped by breaking the window pane. We have got CCTV camera footage from the lodge and the neighbouring area, which shows Rath running. He has been booked under the Indian Penal Code for resisting his lawful apprehension,” added Malik.

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