NEW DELHI, Feb 5 (PTI): In a major breakthrough, Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing has arrested a 67-year-old man and his 43-year-old accomplice for being part of a gang that scammed 28 people from Tamil Nadu of Rs 2.68 crore with the promise of a job and “training” them in counting trains at New Delhi Railway Station, officials said on Sunday.
Sivaraman V, who hails from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu was arrested from government servant quarter here on Mahadev Marg, while his accomplice, Vikas Rana, who is a resident of Govindpuri, was arrested from Darjeeling where he had been hiding, they said.
Police said Sivaraman, a freelancer, was ready to do any job to make easy money while Rana, who worked at National Museum of Natural History as an educational assistant but had quit his job in March 2022.
At least three teams of EOW worked to crack the case, police said.
Police have identified a 35-year-old Satender Dubey from Bihar as the kingpin of the gang. He lived in southwest Delhi’s Uttam Nagar. Dubey, along with an accomplice of his, 24-year-old Rahul Chaudhary, are on the run, police said.
According to Rana, it was Dubey who had contacted him to place two people in contractual positions in his department at the Natural Museum of Natural.
Rana got the two people placed and was paid Rs 6,000 for each placement, a senior police officer told PTI.
“Later, Dubey floated the idea of engaging in a bigger scam and discussed his plan with Rana. He knew that Rana was in debt and had got his kidney operation done in 2017 for which he had also taken Rs 2 lakh loan from a bank and had to return money to others as well. Taking advantage of his financial crisis, Dubey convinced Rana to join him and dupe people on the pretext of getting them jobs in Indian Railways,” he said.
As part of the plan, Rana posed as a deputy director of the Northern Railway office in Delhi. He received the cheated amount from one Subbusamy via online transaction as well as in cash. Rana always met the victims outside for collection of money and never took them inside any Railway building, the officer said.
Later as the scam expanded, the gang also roped in Chaudhry, who helped the gang “train” victims, getting their medical examination done at the Railway hospital here.
Chaudhry later came in contact with Sivaraman, who decided to target job aspirants in Tamil Nadu, his native state. Sivaraman later met Subbusamy, a resident of Coimbatore, in one of the MP quarters in Delhi and convinced to help the gang reel in job aspirants from the state.
“Sivaraman claimed to be very closely associated with MPs and ministers and offered to facilitate employment in the railways in lieu of monetary gains. Trusting him, Subbusamy took eight people to New Delhi who were given forged railway appointment letters and were asked to join training.
“When they returned to their respective villages, these victims then spread the information to rest, following which another 20 people joined them and fell prey to it,” the officer said.
He said that during the initial stage of investigation, the victims feared giving statements and providing documents given to them by the fraudsters, which hindered the investigation.
“So, to take their probe forward, a team was also sent to Madurai in Tamil Nadu in January this year. All victims were examined and their statements were recorded and documents were collected as evidence based on which Sivaraman was arrested in the case,” he added.
Out of the total amount scammed, Rana received Rs 40 lakh which he spent living a lavish lifestyle and touring Darjeeling, Siliguri, Calcutta, and Punjab, while Shivraman who received Rs 8 lakh in cash spent it on his family and health related needs since he also suffers from heart problem, the officer said.
“We are yet to catch the mastermind and his henchmen who will help us find the missing link of the case such as how they got access to the office of the Railway building and also the Railway hospital where they got medical examination of victims done. Only with their disclosure, we will be able to find out if any railway employee was also involved in the conspiracy,” he added.
According to the FIR lodged in November last year on the complaint of 78-year-old M Subbusamy, 28 people from Tamil Nadu were made to stand at different platforms of the New Delhi Railway Station every day for eight hours for a month to count the arrival and departure of trains and their coaches, unaware they were victims of a scam.
The training which took place in June and July saw victims aged 20-30. None of them were given any salary, nor any quarters to stay during their training period, police said. They had been told that this was part of their training for positions of travel ticket examiner (TTE), traffic assistants and clerks, and each of them paid between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 24 lakh to get a job in the Railways, the FIR said.
Subbusamy, an ex-serviceman, had put the victims in touch with the alleged fraudsters, but he has claimed that he was unaware that the entire thing was a scam and he too had fallen for it.
After they would pay the money as facilitation charges, the victims would be called for a medical examination at the Railway Central Hospital, Connaught Place, and then for a document verification at the office of the Junior Engineer, Northern Railway, Shankar Market, New Delhi on various dates, the FIR stated.