CBI Arrests PoE in Nursing Scam
KOCHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested Protector of Emigrants (PoE), Kochi, L Adolfus, in connection with the nursing job scam, in which recruitment agencies recruited nurses for the Ministry of Health, Kuwait, after taking excessive service charge from them.
CBI officials said that Adolfus, a native of Kollam, was arrested after he was found to be extending undue favours to the recruitment agencies, even after the scam was unearthed by investigation agencies. He was arrested from his office in Kochi. “Even after a case was registered against the PoE two months ago, he continued to help some of the agencies in conducting illegal recruitment. A few days ago, Adolfus gave permission to a recruitment agency, which did not have proper licence, to conduct job interview at a luxury hotel at Kundanoor. The Kerala Police have registered a case in connection with the incident. Since the accused is continuing to help the illegal recruitment agencies, we decided to arrest him,” said the CBI officials.
They said the arrest was delayed as the anticipatory bail petition filed by Uthup Varghese, proprietor of Al Zarafa Travels and Manpower Consultancy, was pending before the court.
“We wanted both of them together in custody. First, the court dismissed Adolfus’ anticipatory bail petition. Later, it declined the anticipatory bail petition filed by Uthup Varghese also. Since Uthup Varghese has escaped to Kuwait, we cannot afford to leave Adolfus free as he might destroy evidence and influence witnesses,” said the CBI officials.
The CBI has registered two cases against Adolfus for extending undue favours to recruitment agencies. Similarly, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered case against Adolfus and four other persons on charges of money laundering.
The investigation by the CBI has revealed that Al Zarafa Travels recruited 1,200 nurses for the Ministry of Health, Kuwait, after collecting `19.5 lakh each from them, which is significantly higher than the stipulated fee of `19,500, allegedly with the knowledge of Adolfus.
Meanwhile, investigation by the Enforcement Directorate revealed that Al Zarafa sent `85 crore abroad illegally, through ‘hawala channels’.