KOCHI:The CBI on Wednesday conducted checking at the offices of recruitment agencies operating in Kochi and Kottayam following information about excessive charges taken from candidates recruited for jobs abroad. The CBI also conducted inspection at the residence of K J Mathew, owner of Mathew International recruitment agency, at Ambalapuzha and Mumbai.
According to the CBI officials, the checking was conducted at the offices of recruitment agencies namely JK Enterprises, Pan Asia, Globe and Globe, Dhanush, Skyline and Midiline in Kochi and two other recruitment agencies in Kottayam. “The checking was conducted on suspicion of charging heft amounts from people recruited for jobs abroad. Some of the documents have been recovered for further examination. But more investigation is required to confirm that these agencies had flouted the rules. The names of these agencies came to light during the probe conducted against Al Zarafa Travels and Manpower Consultants which recruited nurses taking Rs 19.5 lakh as service charge instead of the mandatory Rs 19,500,” the CBI officials said. When the CBI team arrived at the residence of Mathew in Mumbai, the house was found locked and he had left the place. The CBI has started an attempt to track Mathew. “He is currently missing and attempts are being made to trace him. Since no case has been registered, we cannot say that he is absconding now,” CBI officials said.
According to the CBI, the fresh case against Mathew International recruitment agency would be registered only after establishing that the agency had got assistance from any government servant like the Protector of Emigrants. “It is yet to be confirmed that Mathew International conducted recruitment flouting rules with the aid the Protector of Emigrants. For establishing this, more probe is required. More people are required to be interrogated,” the CBI officials said. The CBI had registered a case against L Adolfus for aiding AL Zarafa Travel and Manpower Consultants for recruiting nurses to the Ministry of Health, Kuwait, by charging high service charges. Al Zarafa allegedly garnered more than Rs 200 crore for recruiting around 1,200 nurses from Kerala. Following a tip-off, the Income Tax Department had raided the office of Mathew International which also recruited nurses to Kuwait charging high amounts.