The Thane Crime Branch claims to have busted an inter-state railway recruitment racket with the arrests of 11 alleged fraudsters.
The officials recovered fake documents bearing the letterhead of the railway recruitment board, letters of petroleum and natural gas minister, railway stamps, railway recruitment board’s medical fitness certificates, question papers, answer sheets and more than Rs 14 lakh in cash.
The accused would download the forms and letterheads from the Internet and scan the ministers’ signatures, the police said. “They would look for students seeking jobs and promise them recruitment for the posts of station manager, ticket examiner and officers in the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation,” said Senior Police Inspector Chandrakant Joshi.
They would charge between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 4 lakh depending on the student’s financial background.
“They would ask the candidates to come to a hotel to give the exam. The papers would be checked and the recruitment letter given on the spot, if selected,” he added.
The police got a tip-off that some persons involved in the railway recruitment scam were to arrive at Kinara lodge near Naupada in a Mahindra Logan on Sunday evening.
“We arrested Kolkata resident Kaushal Singh alias Manish (25), Surat resident Jigar Jadhav (26) and their driver Ashutosh Tiwari (28), a resident of Mira Road,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Prashant Burde.
On interrogation, they revealed that their accomplices were at Regal Enclave Hotel in Santacruz, Galaxy Hotel in Khar and Midland Hotel in Santacruz.
On Monday, the police raided the three hotels.
Gujarat residents Prakash Mehta (47), an advocate, Rimplekumar Patel (22), a chartered accountancy student, were arrested from Regal Enclave.
West Bengal resident Falguni Chatterjee (41), Gujarat resident Ketan Chandradalal (34) and New Delhi resident Sanjay Upadhyay (43) were arrested from Midland Hotel.
New Delhi resident Sunilkumar Sharma (32), Gujarat residents Mukesh Parmar (37) and Paresh Varude (21) were caught from Galaxy hotel.
“Kaushal Singh is the mastermind of this group and Upadhyay is the second-in-command. Jadhav, Mehta and Patel were agents who would scout for students looking for jobs,” said Joshi.
The accused have allegedly cheated 12 students from Gujarat too, the police said.
All 11 have been remanded in police custody until March 22.