BENGALURU: A multi-crore recruitment scam has been unearthed by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) after a person was nabbed in Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station. Altogether, 40 aspirants across Karnataka seeking jobs in the Indian Railways have each been defrauded of lakhs of rupees. The kingpin of the racket, a Kolkata-based scamster, was nabbed red-handed three days ago by a team of the Government Railway Police (GRP) of Bengaluru from a hotel in Pune.
Here, he was posing as a senior railway official and conducting fake interviews for aspirants, said a highly-placed railway source. The kingpin was earlier chargesheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Bengaluru for his involvement in the recruitment scam.The duo has been produced in court and police investigations are on, but the GRP refused to reveal names of the two until court hearings are concluded.
“Job seekers, most of them from Bengaluru and Hubballi-Dharwad, along with a few from Mysuru and Hassan were victims of this scam. They had each parted with sums ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 40 lakh, depending on the post they believed they were being hired for,” a senior official said. The posts for which the scamsters collected these sums were that of RPF sub-inspector, TTE (travelling ticket examiner) and other staff for the Commercial Branch in South Western Railway (SWR) Zone, he added.
According to another source, the team had set up a full-fledged bogus machinery. “They had forged letter heads bearing the logo of the Indian Railways and forged the signature of the General Manager of SWR in the appointment orders. The team would pose as senior railway officials and convince aspirants they could be a part of the railway network if they parted with a few lakhs,” he said.
Following news of arrest of the main perpetrator, 17 victims approached the GRP and filed complaints, the source added. The whole incident unravelled nearly three weeks ago at KSR station when RPF cops of the special anti-robbery team were routinely questioning an individual over his suspicious behaviour in the station. “On being interrogated, he confessed he was part of a bigger scam where gullible individuals were convinced of a job in railways provided they part with big sums of money,” the official explained.
An FIR has been registered against the two at Government Railway Police station at KSR Railway Station premises. The accused reportedly told the police that the leader of the team was in Patna, but a team which went there could not trace him. “They later tracked him in Pune. A GRP team is now in Kolkata to get details on his properties,” an official added.