Shoeshine boys held for spending Rs 4 cr found on street

Shoeshine boys held for spending Rs 4 cr found on street

Ten boys from Bihar, who worked as shoeshine boys in Kolkata, got rich overnight but could not enjoy their wealth for too long as the long arm of the law caught up with them soon.

In September, the group of boys, most of who came from two villages at Jamui in Bihar, was preparing to go to sleep on a footpath. A money van, belonging to a private bank, was ferrying chests full of money and one of the chests fell down from the van.

The boys opened the large aluminium chest and found to their delight wads of thousand-rupee notes. As they proceeded to count the money in a corner behind some pillars at the heart of Kolkata, they realised they have come across a treasure chest. The box contained not less than Rs 4 crore. They immediately decided to divide the money in equal shares and leave the city forever.

While they left for their home in Bihar, the bank authorities were left worried with the loss of such a large amount of cash. A police complaint was filed and Kolkata Police started an investigation. After questioning the van’s driver and security guard, the police came to know that somewhere near Esplanade, both had heard a loud thud but ignored it.

Tracing their way to the spot where the box had fallen off, the police started asking around and found that 10 shoeshine boys, who slept their regularly, had gone missing since the next morning. Armed with their names and descriptions from other footpath dwellers, the police informed the Bihar Police. Although three months had passed by then, the Bihar Police traced the boys back to their villages and picked up all 10 of them.

On December 21 evening, the police reached their doorsteps and recovered around Rs 2 crore in the process. The police at Jamui grilled the boys — Rajgir, Rohit, Prasadi, Dilip, Chhotan, Yamuna, Arjun, Chhutar, Bangali and Ghanshyam — all aged between 16 and 19, recovering another Rs 14 lakh in the process. A senior Kolkata Police official acknowledged the recovery and lauded the Bihar Police for its efforts. “Jamui police conducted raids after we tipped them off. They recovered around half the money and are looking for the rest,” he said.

The official said that the Kolkata Police had formed a special team to look into the case. “One of our informers in the area pointed out that these boys from Bihar suddenly disappeared one day. We sensed something fishy and started exploring the angle,” the official said.

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