A DAY after former model and air-hostess Sangeeta Chatterjee was arrested by the Chittoor Police from Kolkata for allegedly being part of a red sanders smuggling network, the city police on Thursday claimed it was clueless about the 25-year-old’s involvement in the matter.
Sangeeta, allegedly the girlfriend of international red sanders smuggler Markondan Lakshman alias Lakshman Dange alias Tamang — arrested in 2014 from Nepal — was granted interim bail by the Alipore Police Court on the condition that she would appear before a court in Chittoor by May 18.
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Lakshman’s interrogation and probe by the Chittoor Police have revealed that not only did Sangeeta know about his smuggling activities, she allegedly played a major role in helping him expand it by establishing contacts with smugglers in Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata.
The 25-year-old resides in Kolkata and has properties in Tollygunge’s Netaji Nagar area. The officers at Netaji Nagar police station, meanwhile, claimed Sangeeta was known to them only as a “complainant” in an ongoing case.
A neighbour of Sangeeta in Netaji Nagar, who didn’t wish to be identified, said: “She lived here but was rarely seen. We were under the impression that she ran her own business. There was a man in her life, who we presumed was her husband. She kept to herself and was the ideal neighbour.”
On Thursday, Chittoor SP C Srinivas said: “At present, she is not in our custody. We have uncovered transactions amounting to several crores and suspect her involvement. But we will not be able to verify these suspicions until she is in our custody and is interrogated.”
The Kolkata operation by a Special Task Force from Chittoor began after Lakshman (30), during interrogation, spilled the beans about Sangeeta. Once married, the police believe Sangeeta had separated from her husband, who was a pilot. “We were in Kolkata for a week but could not track her. But this time, we were able to gather evidence and seized her bank accounts. We also managed to confiscate the bank locker keys from her residence,” said a senior Chittoor Police officer.