KOCHI: With the CBI filing charge sheet against Al Zarafa Manpower Consultants in the multi-crore nursing recruitment scam, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is all set to initiate property attachment proceedings against its proprietor Uthup Varghese.The ED officers will summon Uthup Varghese to appear for interrogation.Uthup Varghese, who was arrested by the CBI early this year, was granted conditional bail by the High Court on Thursday. Hailing from Puthuppally, Uthup had been staying in the UAE for past several years.
The CBI, ED and Income Tax (I-T) Department had launched a probe against Uthup for overcharging nurses recruited to the Ministry of Health, Kuwait, in 2015. “Since the CBI has filed charge sheet against the accused, the property proceedings will be initiated against him. The assets of Uthup has been listed and a permission has been sought from the Directorate to complete the property attachment proceedings,” an ED officer said.
Apart from CBI, the Enforcement Directorate, in its investigation, had found trails of hawala transactions allegedly involving Al Zarafa. The recruitment agency had collected over `117 crores between December 29, 2014, and March 25, 2015, from 95 nursing candidates. In the majority of the cases, the employees of Al Zarafa dispatched the money to Suresh Babu, a forex agent who is also an accused in the case.
Suresh used to directly collect cash from the Kochi office and send it to Abu Dhabi through Abdul Nazeer, another forex agent based in Kozhikode. Around `97 crore was allegedly sent via hawala channels to Abu Dhabi.“As part of the probe, Uthup will be summoned for interrogation soon. The summons will be issued once he is released on bail. The I-T Department is also probing tax evasion involving Al Zarafa,” the officer said.