Kerala nurse recruitment scam accused in Interpol list

Kochi, July 29 (IANS) A man from Kerala has been included in the Interpol list of wanted people over his alleged involvement in the Rs.200 crore nurse recruitment scam in the state, a CBI official said on Wednesday.

M. Varghese Uthup, a 48-year-old hailing from Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s hometown Puthupally in Kottayam district, has appeared in the list of wanted people put out by Interpol.

Uthup’s anticipatory bail was rejected by the Kerala High Court last month, following which the CBI was working with the government authorities to seek the help of Interpol, as Uthup was said to be travelling across some Middle East countries.

“Now that Uthup’s name has been published in the Interpol list, they will also be on the lookout for him, who is evading Indian law. We expect Uthup to land in the net,” an official of the Central Bureau of Investigation told IANS.

Uthup has been charged with cheating, criminal conspiracy with a public servant to commit criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act, and collection of excess service charge from emigrants.

Uthup’s Kochi-based recruiting firm is alleged to have been recruiting nurses to Kuwait and instead of collecting a service charge of Rs.19,500 only, it was collecting Rs.19.5 lakh. Reports indicate that they have recruited close to 1,000 nurses in the past one year.

Last month, a raid by the Income Tax department at the recruitment agency found huge sums of unaccounted money there.

The CBI stepped in after a nurse who had paid fees to the agency but decided not to take up the job alleged that she did not get her money back.

She said she approached the Protector of Emigrants (PoE) L. Adolfus for help to get her money back from the recruitment agency, but got a cold response.

Adolfus, who was arrested by the CBI, got bail on Wednesday, the CBI official said.

 

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