Updated: September 20, 2021 8:12:36 am
A 43-year-old man who allegedly posed as an IAS officer and cheated over 40 people under the pretext of offering them a job in the Indian Railways has been arrested.
Police said the accused, Mohammad Raghib Firoz, and his two associates have been running the ‘fake job’ racket for years and cheated people of more than Rs 2.5 crore in the last eight months. To lure their victims and make the job appointment look genuine, the men even held seminars, and conducted medical tests and training sessions in Delhi and Dehradun for three months. They took money from their targets on the pretext of registration and training fees.
One of the victims, who refused to be named, said he lost more than Rs 2 lakh in January. He said, “I worked as a data entry operator and lost my job because of the pandemic. I was searching for jobs online when I found an ad for a job in the Railways last year. After a test and interview, I was promised a job in the PR department. I even went to Paharganj and to a hotel in Dehradun for training. I didn’t tell my parents and took a loan from friends for the job. When I returned home, I realised the job didn’t exist.”
“Firoz is the kingpin and has been on the run for months. He was arrested from Greater Noida,” said police. During questioning, the accused revealed that they put ads on the internet and tried luring their neighbours to apply for the fake job.
The Economic Offences Wing had already arrested Firoz’s associates, Brij Kishore and Sachin Kumar, in the case. During investigation, they found that the accused were printing fake appointment letters and conducting medical tests.
Additional CP (EOW) R K Singh said, “It was when the victims reached the DRM office in Jamshedpur for their job that they realised the accused had cheated them. The men had asked the victims to report in Jamshedpur.”
Singh said his teams visited several villages near Agra, Hathras and Patna to talk to victims and identify the accused.
In the last year, Delhi Police have busted several such rackets and arrested more than 4,500 gangs/individuals for cheating people on the pretext of providing them jobs at hospitals, Railways or other government posts. In 2019, around 4,000 such cases were registered.
Police attributed the rise in these cases to persons/groups using the lockdown as an opportunity to indulge in fake job scams and post ads on Facebook and job portals. As people who lost their jobs during the lockdown couldn’t go to companies, they often applied online.
Singh said, “Mostly in these cases, the victims don’t check the credential of the accused as they are desperate for jobs. The accused often pose as high-ranking officials and offer lucrative salaries with good job training and postings. The fake appointment letters, registration forms, training and the interviews seem genuine.”
In the present case, police said the accused booked small hotels in Dehradun and Delhi’s Paharganj and Karol Bagh area for the victims, and conducted seminars and training sessions on the Indian Railways.
“They would talk about clerical and technical work at the Railways – how to resolve complaints, check coaches, working at the control room, working with Railway Protection Force etc. The victims also underwent a medical check-up because the men asked them for a fitness test. The only requirement for the job was a bachelor’s degree. After training sessions, the accused told them to report to Jamshedpur where they would start working with senior officers,” said a police officer.
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