A 27-YEAR-OLD Bhandup-based woman, who completed her MBBS from Russia and wanted to study further in India, was cheated by people who promised her admission to a Nagpur college.
Mumbai Police has registered a case against one of the accused, identified as Chandrashekar Atram, and is looking for him. The police suspect it is an organised racket targeting students who want to pursue further studies.
An officer linked to the case said the complainant had completed her MBBS from Tver State Medical Academy in Russia in 2015. She returned to India and was interning at a Mumbai-based hospital and wanted to do her MD. She took the NEET exam. But her name did not feature in the first list. In April, she got a message from a person saying if she was interested in securing admissions for the MD course, she should call up the given number, an officer said.
When she called up, a person, who identified himself as Mannu, answered and asked her to go to a medical college in Nagpur. The woman and her father went there and Mannu met them, along with two others. “The trio told them they would have to pay Rs 25 lakh for each year of the course to secure admission in that college,” an officer said.
When the woman refused, Atram who was present there, said his uncle was the registrar of a government medical college in Nagpur and they have an in-house quota. Atram told the woman that they would have to pay Rs 40 lakh, of which Rs 30 lakh would have to paid up front. “In order to sound more genuine, the accused also gave them a post-dated cheque of Rs 20 lakh as a ‘security deposit’ and a stamp paper with signature saying if the work was not done, the complainant would get the money back,” a senior officer said.
After returning to the city, the woman paid Rs 20 lakh to the accused. He then told her that they would get her admission secured in May 2018, but he needed Rs 10 lakh more before April 10. “The accused gave her another post-dated cheque of Rs 10 lakh as ‘security deposit’ after which the complainant made a payment of another Rs 10 lakh,” an officer said. The complainant then started getting messages from HP-NBEEDU that her medical admission was in the process. When she checked the website link that was mentioned in the messages, she found it was fake. She then approached Atram who did not answer her questions satisfactorily,” an officer said.
“When she went to encash the two post-dated cheques, they bounced. While Atram initially returned Rs 8.5 lakh to her mother’s account, later, when they called him, he refused to answer the calls and sent messages, like ‘I love you’. the woman realised she had been cheated,” the officer said.
She approached Bhandup police and an FIR was registered last Saturday under sections of cheating and criminal breach of trust. “This appears to be an organised racket and more than one person is involved. Investigations are on and we should be able to arrest the accused soon,” an officer said.