Maids of dubious honour sting city’s rich clients
It’s difficult to get a full-time domestic help in the city.delhi Updated: Feb 02, 2010 23:36 IST
It’s difficult to get a full-time domestic help in the city. What’s almost impossible is to get a reliable full-time domestic help. And this shows in Delhi Police’s records.
In 2009, the police registered more than 350 cases of duping by domestic helps and their so-called placement agents. The police have arrested more than 35 such placement agents in separate cases. According to the police, the racket is most prevalent in posh areas like Greater Kailash-I and II, Alaknanda DDA flats, Punjabi Bagh, Vasant Vihar, Chittaranjan Park and other such places in the Capital.
Modus Operandi: According to police, these placement agents are well-organised and rotate the same set of domestic helps to dupe people in different areas. On Tuesday, the South Delhi Police arrested two people—Salim Turkey (35) and Bahuran Kumar (25)—who ran a similar racket and had duped more than a 100 people.
“The gang had changed their contact numbers more than 50 times in the past two months to avoid arrest. They used to promise a domestic maid for Rs 10,000 as registration charges and a monthly salary of Rs 1,800. However, the promised maid would not turn up, forcing the duped clients to approach the police. So far, by adopting the same modus-operandi, they have duped more than 100 people in and around NCR,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H.G.S. Dhaliwal.
He added that the accused would even advertise on the local cable television channels and at times in newspapers too. According to police, different bogus placement agencies use different ways to dupe people.
Why Posh Colonies? The police said these agents know that posh colonies require maids and for this simple reason target them.
The police said that some bogus placement agents float pamphlets in different areas—mainly posh colonies with cellphone numbers, which keep changing from time to time.
Then they ask their potential victims to pay them a “fixed” fee to book a domestic help.
“The help works for a few days and then disappears. When the placement agent is contacted they claim that the help has gone to her native town and would return to them after a few days’ time. Later, the agent changes his number and disappears, too,” said a senior police officer.
“These criminal show a rosy picture and the cheapest rates and best service and once they finalise the deal according to the customer’s status and receiving Rs 15-20,000 as registration charges, they would either leave the maid with the customer or promise to supply the same within 24 hours,” said Dhaliwal.
In areas like CR Park, there have been instances where the placement agency has threatened the customers with dire consequences if they did not let them go.
“They blackmail them and threaten to call the police and accuse them of either misbehaving with the maid or even assaulting them. When they are asked for the money back they plainly refuse,” added the officer.