The Gujarat police have finally taken custody of city-based IT firm Sai Info System’s (SIS) fugitive chairman Sunil Kakkad after his arrest in the West African country of Liberia early this month.

After a tip-off from the local police in the Liberian capital Monrovia, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had alerted Gujarat Police about Kakkad’s hideout. Later, in a joint operation by local police and Interpol, Kakkad was held in Monrovia.

A team of the Ahmedabad crime branch was sent to Liberia on July 5 to complete the extradition formalities and bring Kakkad to Gujarat. Early Monday morning, the crime branch officials and Kakkad landed in Ahmedabad.

Later in the day, after a detailed interrogation in the ₹1,000-crore fraud case, the Ahmedabad crime branch officially arrested Kakkad, who has been charged under Ssections 402, 418, 201, 114 and 395/13, 406 and 420 of the IPC for forgery and cheating.

Kakkad along with family had been absconding since June 2013 after duping his lenders and suppliers, following which a red corner notice was issued against him.

The city crime branch will further investigate different aspects and what he did with the amount obtained from lenders, whether it was a well-thought-out scam or he fell on bad times. However, prima facie, the police suspect a planned scam and believe more skeletons may emerge.

“This is a remarkable operation by the city crime branch. For the first time the Gujarat police have brought a fugitive from a country with which India doesn’t have an extradition treaty,” the city police commissioner said in a statement on Monday.

Kakkad’s arrest comes as a ray of hope for nearly 1,500 staff members of SIS as well as its lenders, which comprise mainly public sector banks State Bank of India, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, Corporation Bank, Bank of Baroda, IDBI and Allahabad Bank and Vijaya Bank. The bankers had an exposure of about ₹900 crore to Kakkad’s companies.

SIS was engaged in electronics goods assembling, retailing and servicing business. The company had opened a retail mall for electronics goods.

According to police sources, after fleeing from India, Kakkad opened another company called Enrich Gold Resources Corporation in Liberia and decided to stay there as it did not have extradition treaty with India.

But, after getting a tip-off from the Interpol, the Gujarat Police prepared a dossier and a team of three police officers met the chief of police in Liberia.

(This article was published on July 7, 2014)
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