Mumbai Police arrest 6 school drop-outs for duping 450 job aspirants across India
An ongoing investigation has revealed that a fake job racket that duped more than 450 people was run by six school drop-outs.
On January 11, Mumbai Police’s crime branch raided the office of Mumbai Sri Consultancy in Malad (West), which was a fraud recruitment agency that promised foreign jobs to applicants. It was run by Mainuddin Musuruddin Shaikh, 44; Sapurid Shaikh Shamsuddin Shaikh, 34; Moinuddin Goldar Aminuddin Goldar, 34; Jayantkumar Panchanan Mandal, 38; Abdul Hasim Shaikh Ajadul Islam, 33; and Tarak Manoranjan Mondal, 32, who were arrested following the raid. The six, all from West Bengal, are school drop-outs. They had been running offices in Kolkata and Mumbai and had duped job applicants from across the country. Mainuddin is believed to have been the mastermind of the gang.
The police believe the Mumbai office was set up last year on the advice of Sapurid, who lived in Malwani and had previously worked with a travel agency in Wadala. Initially, they had an office in Kolkata, which they shut down in February. A case was registered against Mainuddin and his associates in West Bengal in March 2020. After closing the Kolkata office, the plan had been to set up the Mumbai office in March 2020, but the lockdown forced them to delay their move. Eventually, they rented an office in a mall in Malad in September 2020.
Inspector Sanjeev Gavade of Mumbai Police’s crime branch said that Mumbai Sri Consultancy had hired two people as office workers and issued advertisements declaring several vacancies in a Russia-based firm called Enka & Euretek. In the advertisements, Mainuddin gave his mobile number. “Their modus operandi was to contact job aspirants from outside the state where they would set shop and not entertain any locals from the same city or state in which they set up office,” said Gavade.
Applicants would be asked to send their passports and pay between ₹80,000 and ₹125,000 for services such as visa processing and plane tickets. Between November 2020 and January this year, the accused had collected money and passports from around 200 people from different states, under the pretext of providing them jobs in Russia. Mainuddin and his associates advertised their services through WhatsApp and on employment websites.
Mumbai Police’s crime branch got a tip-off about the gang in early January and sent a decoy to obtain information. When the decoy asked questions about their Mumbai operations, the gang members asked him to leave and approach another agency. Following this, Gavade and his team raided the office on January 11 and recovered 250 original passports of various people outside Maharashtra and fake offer letters, a computer, laptop and mobile phones. The six arrested accused have been charged with cheating, forgery and using forged documents.
HT spoke to some victims of this fraud, many of whom have prior experience of working abroad. Meghnath Duhudi, for instance, had worked as an electrician in Dubai for two years. Similarly, Manish Gupta had worked as a crane operator in Saudi Arabia. Another victim, Srikant Nayak, 40, is a resident of Behrampur in Orissa and had worked for 12 years in Abu Dhabi, in fabrication work. All of them have acquaintances who fell for the fraud. “Around 20 people I know have given their passports to Mainuddin for jobs and all have deposited ₹80,000 each,” said Nayak. All the submitted passports will be returned to their rightful owners on February 26.