Over 130 people from Nepal were duped of over Rs 6 crore by a gang of fraudsters, after being promised jobs on an Australian cruise liner with salaries starting from Rs 1.5 lakh.
The victims of this scam include army officials, policemen, businessmen and government officials who left their jobs. A few of them even sold their land, homes and jewellery to acquire the job.
Masterminds Nirmala Adhikari and Yuvraj Tiwari
According to one of the victims, Master Thapa from the Nepali Sena (a wing of Shiv Sena), Nirmala Adhikari and Yuvraj Tiwari, a couple who moved within Nepal and gained the trust of these victims, are the brains behind the scam.
The fourth accused, is Mahendra Pradhan who accompanied the victims to the Commissioner’s office in Crawford market and even wrote his own complaint is also absconding. He is also accused of luring around 60 people and introducing them to the couple.
The victims were trained at Mercantile training centre in Kolkata for 20 days and were later called to Mumbai for a medical test. The accused took Rs 3 lakh to Rs 10 lakh from each victim.
In Mumbai, victims met the mastermind of the scam, PK Singh, who was introduced to them as the Director of the YAK International Consultant Logistic and Service Management, which turned out to a fake company.
“The victims met me and narrated the whole incident. I called Singh, sensed something amiss and went to his office in Bhandup and was shocked to find nothing there,” explains Thapa.
Currently, all the four main accused are unreachable and a case has been registered with the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police that is investigating the matter.
The investigation has so far revealed that the gang hired the shop at Bhandup only 10 days before the victims reached Mumbai.
An official agreement was also drawn up (a copy of which is with mid-day) and the shop was rented for a sum of Rs 18,000. Thapa, who is pursuing the case, said, “They are still in India and must be caught.”
Chabi Mabo. 32 farmer by profession
Mahendra Pradhan approached me and introduced me to Nirmala Adhikari. I was promised a job with a salary of R1.5lakh. I sold my land and today I have nothing. My family and I am in dire circumstances.
Ramesh Reshmi, officer in Army
I was approached by Tiwari. He told me that I will earn more than what I get paid at the army. I left my job and somehow managed to arrange for R3 lakh. Today, I am jobless and the army is not taking me back.