KOCHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), with the assistance of the External Affairs Ministry, has started talks with the UAE Government for completing procedures for extraditing Uthup Varghese, who is accused in the Rs 30-crore recruitment scam.
According to CBI officials, the Indian Embassy in the UAE has held discussions with the local government for extraditing Uthup Varghese to India.
The CBI headquarters is coordinating the extradition procedures. “Since an extradition treaty is existing between India and the UAE, we hope the procedures would be completed without delay. Once extradited, his arrest will be recorded at the airport where he arrives. A lookout notice has already been issued against Uthup, which will prevent him from escaping from the airport,” said a CBI official. At the instance of the CBI, the Interpol issued a red-corner notice against Puthuppally-native Uthup, owner of Al Zarafa Manpower Consultants and Travels. The travel agency allegedly recruited nurses for the Kuwait Health Ministry by charging `19.5 lakh from each candidate, significantly higher than the stipulated rate of Rs 19,500. In addition to the CBI, cases have been filed against Uthup by the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate.
CBI Quizzes Passport Officer
The CBI on Monday interrogated the Malappuram Regional Passport officer and a travel agent in connection with a bribery case, in which the former was caught red-handed by the central agency. Passport officer P Ramakrishnan and travel agent Abdul Ameer were interrogated at the CBI office in Kochi. CBI officials said the duo was summoned after the investigation revealed involvement of more travel agents in the scam. Ramakrishnan and Ameer were granted bail recently.
“Details of the number of passports issued to each travel agent has to be confirmed. The interrogation lasted from morning to evening. We will be arraigning more travel agents as accused next month,” said the CBI official.