The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police are on the lookout for three persons, including two Nepali nationals, for allegedly duping 120 Nepali nationals to the tune of over Rs1.50 crore by promising them jobs in an Australian cruise.
To make their con look genuine, the accused had taken an office space in a posh Bhandup mall on rent and had even sent the victims for marine training in Kolkata. The unique factor in this case is that although the conspiracy was hatched in Nepal, the execution took place in Mumbai.
The suspects against whom the First Information Report (FIR) has been registered have been identified as PK Singh, Yuvraj Adhikari and Nirmala Adhikari.
According to EOW sources, the Adhikari couple has masterminded the entire fraud. "The couple had placed a bogus advertisement in a local newspaper in Nepal wherein they had claimed that they would provide jobs with lucrative salary in a reputed and international cruise company and the posting would be in Australia," said an EOW officer, requesting anonymity.
He added that after reading the advertisement many people got attracted towards it and contacted Adhikari couple.
"The couple told the victims that they would be sent for a short marine training in Kolkata and they would have to board flight from Mumbai to Australia once the money transaction and documentation is over," the officer said.
In the month of February, the victims were sent for training in Kolkata and then they were asked to get in touch with one PK Singh, an alleged company representative of the couple in Mumbai. Singh had rented an office in a posh mall in Bhandup where victims contacted him, police said.
"The victims were given bogus documents of the cruise company and over Rs1.50 crore were taken by the accused from 120 victims in cash. The transaction had taken place in March. The job aspirants were told that their flight will take off on April 9 and two days before that they would be given visas. However, when the victims contacted the Bhandup-based office of the company they were shocked to find it locked.
Neither Adhikari nor Singh could be contacted after which they lodged police complaint," the officer said.
"We have registered a case of cheating and forgery in this regard and have transferred the case to EOW for further investigation," said senior police inspector Prashant Marde from Bhandup police station.