Delhi Police has arrested an LLB graduate for allegedly hosting a fake website in the name of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, using their logo and advertising for a teaching recruitment drive for positions that were not available. Efforts are on to apprehend three others — website designer Ankur, Navneeta Nagpal and Anup — allegedly associated with the scam, police added.
At least 4,000 applicants had deposited a total of Rs 20 lakh in the bank accounts mentioned on the website, police said. The website came under police radar after the under-secretary of the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) approached police and registered a complaint.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) B K Singh said, “We arrested the accused, identified as Sumit Kumar, on November 18 under sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code. The website was offering jobs for various posts, and applicants were requested to pay the examination fee online. The ministry had no opening for any such job.”
The website, meanwhile, had claimed that recruitment was open for post-graduate, trained graduate, miscellaneous and primary school teachers. A police officer said, “The website claimed that the posts were for Balika Bhavan, Nari Niketan and New Model schools across the country. The details of the schools were, however, not provided.”
The website, in the application window, asked candidates under the general category to submit Rs 800, and for those under SC/ST category, the fee stood at Rs 500.
Police said that when Kumar was arrested, several lakh applications had been received. However, police have been able to document only 4,000 applications so far. “Several applicants were from outside Delhi. We are trying to compile a list of applicants who had deposited the money. The total amount found in the accounts is Rs 25 lakh,” said a senior police officer.
A source familiar with the investigation said, “The website was hosted on GO Reddit. Since the details were made public, the domain and the sub-domains were investigated. After that, the server details of the host were ascertained. The financials of the company were looked into. It was then that police found Sumit’s mobile phone number registered with one of the bank accounts, with a transaction of Rs 3 lakh.”
While police maintained that the bank statements allegedly established that the website was fraudulently withdrawing money, a source said police are yet to document the evidence. The Indian Express has learnt that the website — being hosted since March this year — maintains that it was formed under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882.