In many cases conman called aspirants, pretending to be KEA officials
Bengaluru: At least fifteen cases of MBBS seat fraud have been reported in the city recently wherein the medical aspirants coming from other cities have been duped by various fake agencies
Meanwhile, the police have claimed that nearly 40 parents have been duped under the pretext of an MBBS seat. TOI reports that the total amount of fraud adds up to as much as Rs 5 crore.
Some of the cases reported by the media give an idea about the pattern of the conmen, who first offer a medical seat and then dupe the medical aspirants. These fraudsters first collect data with the help of insiders working at a medical college, who are well aware of the admission details. Next, they contact aspirants and parents as agents promising them medical seats. Then, they rent temporary offices, create websites, fake application forms and other documents to make their fake buildup profession look genuine. After that, these conmen make parents and aspirants follow multiple procedures to give a sense of legitimacy. Eventually, they collect the money and go underground.
In one such fraud mentioned in a recent report by TOI, an engineer based in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, has lost Rs 62 lakh to agents who promised ab MBBS seat for his daughter. A tele-caller approached and asked him to come to an office on Cunningham Road in the city, where he met them on August 27, 2018. They demanded Rs 6.5 lakh immediately and the remaining amount by August 29, 2018. But on August 28, he received another call and was told that he would not get the seat if he didn’t make the full payment Rs 62 lakh on that day. A day after he paid up, there was no one at the office he had first visited. The entire set up had changed and they had vanished leaving any trace.
In a similar case, an Assistant Commandant of a para-military force, based in West Bengal, was duped by some men who took Rs 9.2 lakh after promising a medical seat for his son. He received a phone call from a person identifying himself as Subhashith Pati, claiming to be an officer from the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA). He told him that his son had bagged a seat in Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI), and asked to meet him on August 9 to complete the formalities.
The father then came to Bengaluru and met Pati, and made an initial payment of 20,000. Pati later asked Rs 5 lakh towards development fee and Rs 4 lakh as the first instalment of the admission fee. Accordingly, he transferred the money to the agent. After confirming receipt of the money, he was told to come to the medical college to complete the admission formalities but when he called Pati after reaching the college premises, his mobile phone was switched off.
In another case reported by The Hindu, an 18-year-old MBBS candidate from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, was approached by a man who took Rs 11.6 lakh after promising a seat in BMCRI. He got a call from the accused who introduced himself as Manoj Das from the KEA. He informed that he has a poor score in NEET but he could arrange a medical seat for him.
As per the deal, he met Das in Cuttack in Odisha and paid Rs 3.2 lakh for booking the seat. The student was later asked to meet him in Bengaluru, but when he, along with his father, met Das, they were introduced to his associates as officials of the KEA and who jointly took Rs 11.6 lakh promising to get a seat in BMCRI. The accused told them to go back to their hometown and go to the college on August 30 for admission. The cheating came to light when the student and his father went to the college.
When asked about the rising number of fake agencies, DCP (central) D Devaraj, informed TOI there has been an increasing number of such “consultancies” mushrooming overnight. In some cases, the investigators have found that people who have worked in a medical college or some that are still close to the management are involved in cheating aspirants. However, they could not reveal the identities immediately given the status of the probe.