Gang dup­ing stu­dents busted

Lured vic­tims with prom­ise of ad­mis­sion

The Hindu - - SOUTH - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

In Au­gust, Sub­hashith Pati, 31, and Sa­mar­jeet Panda, 41, were va­ca­tion­ing at a beach in Goa. As they headed to re­turn bikes from a rental shop, they were con­fronted by the Cub­bon Park po­lice.

Pati and Panda are part of a seven-mem­ber gang led by one Soumya­jeeth Mo­hanty, who took ad­van­tage of the de­mand for med­i­cal and engi­neer­ing cour­ses in col­leges in Kar­nataka to dupe sev­eral stu­dents from out­side the State by promis­ing to get them ad­mis­sion.

Based on in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by the duo, in­spec­tor Ayyanna Reddy flashed a mes­sage to an­other team, which rushed to a re­sort in Chennai in Tamil Nadu, and ar­rested Aashish, the third ac­cused in the case.

So far, as many as 10 cases have been reg­is­tered against the ac­cused, said Mr. Reddy.

Mas­ter­mind Mo­hanty, how­ever, es­caped by a whisker af­ter be­ing tipped off by one of the other ac­cused. He has made ₹5 crore this year alone by cheat­ing sev­eral peo­ple, Mr. Reddy added.

Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, Mo­hanty, a B.E. grad­u­ate from Bhubanesh­war in Odisha, set up a con­sul­tancy firm to lure stu­dents and par­ents des­per­ate for a pro­fes­sional de­gree.

Modus operandi

Us­ing his sources in coun­selling agen­cies, Mo­hanty would ob­tain a list of stu­dents who had ap­peared for the en­trance ex­ams and tar­geted re­peaters. He hired tele­callers to ap­proach th­ese stu­dents, who of­fered to get them ad­mis­sion to med­i­cal and engi­neer­ing col­leges across In­dia. The stu­dents were asked to con­tact Mo­hanty.

Mo­hanty would first meet the stu­dents and par­ents. He then would take his vic­tims to re­puted col­leges on the pre­text of talk­ing to the man­age­ment. Ask­ing the vic­tims to wait out­side, he would walk into the cham­ber of an of­fi­cer on the pre­text of mak­ing an en­quiry. On com­ing out, he would as­sure the vic­tims that the deal was set­tled and de­mand cash rang­ing from ₹30 lakh to ₹50 lakh.

If the vic­tims said they would give a de­mand draft or trans­fer the money on­line, Mo­hanty would give the ac­count num­bers of his staff at his call cen­tre, Mr. Reddy added.

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing the money, Mo­hanty would hand over an ad­mis­sion let­ter with a fake seal and sig­na­ture of the col­lege. He would then ask his as­so­ci­ates to switch off their phones and buy new SIM cards.

Mo­hanty and his as­so­ci­ates — Pati, Panda, Aashish, Ilyas, Anil Mukhar­jee and Manoj Das — al­legedly duped hun­dreds of peo­ple in Ker­ala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Ma­ha­rash­tra and West Ben­gal, the po­lice said. They added that there were many com­plaints against Mo­hanty in Bhubanesh­war too.

K. ANANTHAN ■

The gang would tar­get those who were des­per­ate to get into pro­fes­sional cour­ses.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.