Two weeks after the arrest of assistant dean Rakesh Verma of Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital and Medical College, also known as Sion hospital, the police have learnt that two Navi Mumbai-based middlemen acted as an important link between Verma and the students, who allegedly paid a hefty amount to bag a seat for the MD (Doctor of Medicine) course.
Verma was arrested after a MBBS doctor was duped of Rs 50 lakh on the pretext of being given admission to the postgraduate (PG) course at the hospital.
The police said that the two middlemen would approach students, who had appeared for entrance exams, and were trying to get a seat in the PG course. “They would approach those who had failed to clear to the entrance exam. They would lure them saying that they are in good terms with the assistant dean and he would help them secure a seat,” said an officer.
Asked how did they manage to get the phone number of the students, the Investigating Officer, Inspector Dilip Ghuge, said: “We are trying to figure that out. The arrest of these two middlemen is important, as they are the masterminds of the racket.”
He added that in order to make their claims look real, the middlemen would take the students and their parents to Verma’s cabin.
“The assistant dean would assure the students that they will get admission and ask them to cooperate with the middlemen. Following this, the students paid money to the middlemen.”
The police said that so far, they have been approached by four aspiring PG students, who were duped of Rs 50 lakh, Rs 37 lakh, Rs 44 lakh and Rs 26 lakh, respectively, after the arrest of Verma. The role of the middlemen was revealed while the three students were being questioned, officers said.
“When we questioned Verma, he said that the middlemen ran the racket and gave him only Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh per student,” said Ghuge. The police are trying ascertain how many students have been defrauded by the group.
According to the police, four other middlemen – Madhav Yadav, Vinay Mishra, Siddiqui Azam Akbar and Rahul Singh – who were arrested for allegedly duping a Jharkhand-based businessman of Rs 30 lakh on the pretext of getting his daughter admission into MBBS course at Sion hospital, are also linked to Verma.
“We are trying to gather evidence on this,” said an officer.
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