A 30-year-old man, with a history of criminal records, pedalled nearly 600 kilometres on a stolen bicycle from Basra village in Bihar’s Rajapakar area to Uttarpara in West Bengal’s Hooghly district to rob a bank. The man Pritam Ghosh robbed Rs 17 lakh from Union Bank along with his accomplices on June 5.
Ghosh was later arrested along with three associates – Sanjay Paswan, Sanjib Paswan and Tapas Das. The men were wearing masks during the robbery and assumed that police won’t be able to identify them.
Humayun Kabir, Police Commissioner, Chandannagar, said that it has come to light during preliminary investigation that Ghosh fled from a jail in Odisha and was hiding in Bihar.
“He chose to pedal because he could sneak into West Bengal easily. If he had come by bus in the guise of a labourer, he would have been checked at the border. He thought he might get caught because of his criminal record. He got the idea to pedal from migrant labourers who travelled hundreds of kilometres on foot,” a senior police said.
Ghosh reached Uttarpara on June 3, and called up three of his associates and formed a small gang. On June 4, they did a recce before finally looting the Union Bank on June 5 at around 3:00 pm. S Pattanaik, Inspector, Uttarpara Police Station, “While the three men carrying firearms looted around Rs 17 lakhs, Ghosh was waiting outside the bank in a car. Around Rs 10 lakhs have been recovered. We have also seized one firearm. We are also trying to seize the bicycle, which he used to travel to Uttarpara from Bihar.”
Apart from arresting his three associates, Ghosh’s wife and mother-in-law were also interrogated since he was hiding in their house and also hid a portion of loot there.
“It took Ghosh three days to reach Hooghly while taking rest in between. He was running out of money and hence he decided to loot a bank. We are interrogating him for further details,” S Pattanaik said.