Mumbai: Scamster duo flees after duping over 85 with international job offers

The duo, who ran a placement agency, which was based in Bhandup conned nearly 250 victims through ads in newspapers and collected at least Rs 30,000 from each of them

Here's another reason not to trust ads that claim to provide quick employment overseas. 250 international employment seekers in Mumbai were conned by a Bhandup-based placement agency on the pretext of helping them secure employment overseas.

The victims were cheated by a company named ‘United Manpower’, run by Aasif (L) and Faizan Sheikh. Pics/Rajesh Gupta
The victims were cheated by a company named ‘United Manpower’, run by Aasif (L) and Faizan Sheikh. Pics/Rajesh Gupta

The job candidates, cheated by a company named ‘United Manpower’ said they were lured with high-paying salaries, free food and living spaces abroad and were asked to pay job processing fees between Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000.

Modus operandi
The first step included offering job openings through an advertisement that read ‘Free Visas’ for Singapore, Dubai, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Those who called on the numbers provided in the ads were called in for a meeting at the Bhandup office, located in the basement of Dreams Mall.

The job seekers were interviewed and given fake job agreements, only after their passport was submitted and the processing fees were paid. The victims are in a state of shock after learning that their passports were also taken away along with the money they had paid. The firm owners shut shop and fled, days before the selected candidates were scheduled to fly abroad.

The victims realised it was a scam only when the mobile phone numbers of the scamster duo Faizan Shaikh and Aasif Shaikh were unreachable. Upon reaching the company’s office, they found that it was shut. It was then that the victims brought the matter to the notice of cops.

On May 21, the victims first went to Bhandup police station and gave a written complaint.

On Monday, at least 60 people reached the police station to lodge an FIR against the accused. A police officer said they have received complaints from 85 victims and more have approached them in the matter. An FIR under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code was registered on Monday night.

Victims say

Kashif Farooqui, Mumbra
I gave them Rs 35,000 and my passport. On May 19, when I visited their office, Faizan and Aasif weren’t there. I called them, but their phones were switched off. I met Pooja Singh and Vidya Kasbe, their employees, but they told me even they were trying to locate them as their salaries were pending. I suspect over 300 people have been cheated.

Nadir Khan, Kurla
Eight members of my family have been cheated. We had paid Rs 2 lakh and were told we were offered jobs in a top company of Kuwait and would be paid between Kuwaiti Dinar 160 to 250 each. We researched on the company and found the company existed in Kuwait, but offer letters given to us were fake. We have met about 250 victims till now.

Satish Kumar, Saki Naka
Faizan and Asif told us that we would be travelling in groups. I was told that my batch was scheduled to depart on May 20, but on May 18, I went to their office and saw they were not there. I went there on May 20 again and saw around 30-40 people at the office, which was shut. We tried calling the duo and then lodged a police complaint against them.

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