October 5, 2021 3:12:21 am
IN an elaborate scam, several job aspirants in Pune were cheated of over Rs 6-7 lakh each after they were promised ‘Indian Railways jobs from ministry quota’. The aspirants were made to appear for fake exams, undergo training and were even ‘allotted duties’ at railway stations in Jharkhand before they realised they had fallen prey to a fraud.
A First Information Report in the case has been registered at Talegaon Dabhade police station under Pimpri-Chinchwad jurisdiction by a 34-year-old man who is a resident of a village near Lonavala. Police have till now been approached by six of the candidates, who have been cheated to a total amount of Rs 39 lakh. Police have details of at least 10 more who have been cheated and believe that many more may have been duped by the scam.
Based on the information given by the complainant and other victims, police have booked a total of 13 persons, including the main racketeers who are from Gwalior, and others.
An officer from Talegaon Dabhade police station said these job aspirants from Pune district came in contact with four of the suspects, who belong to the same family and lived in Talegaon Dabhade. One of the suspects identified himself as a section engineer with the Indian Railways in Pune and started telling some unemployed local youth in November 2019 that he could help them get jobs in Railways through the ‘ministry quota.’
The probe has since revealed that the credentials shared by the suspect during their interactions were forged.
Assistant Inspector Narayan Patil, who is investigating the case, said, “These aspirants were asked to pay Rs 6 to 7 lakh each. They were made to appear for fake exams and interviews and were handed over appointment letters too. Intermittently, the suspects kept delaying their responses by citing pandemic-related restrictions as the reason.”
The aspirants were even made to undergo training at a ‘coaching centre’ at Ranchi for over 45 days and were charged separately for the effort. The coaching centre, which was staffed by one instructor and one receptionist, trained them for two hours in January and February this year.
Some months ago, the racketeers went to the extent of telling the victims that they had been allotted duties at various railway stations in Jharkhand, including Jasidih. Upon reaching these locations in August this year, the aspirants were also asked to get ready with uniforms. When these youths reported for work at Jasidih and other locations, they were told that no such appointments had been made and the people they were speaking to were not Railway officials but possible fraudsters. The youths returned to Pune and recently registered a complaint with police.
“We have booked 13 persons till now based on the information given by the victims. These include alleged main racketeers and aides. We have launched a search for these suspects,” added Assistant Inspector Patil.
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