IMPHAL Aug 23: Jose Thomas, who fled Classic Hotel in the early morning of August 7 following investigation by social welfare department officials and police into his activities involving recruitment of “social workers” was remanded to judicial custody.
Jose, 36, a resident of Kajirapally, Kottayam district of Kerala was arrested on August 12.
The fraudster was brought to the court of the CJM, Imphal west today afternoon and has been sent to judicial custody for 16 days.
Sources revealed that Jose arrived at Imphal along with two Keralite girls on July 22 and stayed at hotel Tampha for some time. After printing pamphlets, application forms and brochures of educational institutions offering technical courses, he forged his identification and an official looking stamp at a printing press located at Babupara. Jose then shifted to more affluent quarters at Hotel Classic. He then put out an advertisement in two local papers calling for posts of ‘social workers’ as a job profile and the recruitment was carried out in an official manner at a room of Hotel Classic. More than 60 individuals were selected and appointment letters were given.
Jose’s firm was titled “Nehru Peace Foundation” which was later found to be a nonexistent one. The recruited social workers were promised a salary of Rs 25,000 per month if they roped in 15 eligible students vying for technical studies including MBA, engineering and nursing courses outside the state. According to the number of students brought by the touts, incentive of a two wheeler was promised by Jose with a bonus of Rs 3 lacs per annum.
Social Welfare officials were intimated by a source about the ‘recruitment’ on August 6 and on the same day, a team comprising of child welfare officer Binobala Nongmeikapam, probation officer K Saroja and Child Welfare Committee members L Mala and Sushil went to Classic Hotel to verify Jose’s credentials and the authenticity of his organization after informing concerned police officials.
It was found by the team that Jose had no proper authentication and his operations were suspicious. Jose had printed brochures for a nursing college (Harshad College of Nursing) while the admission forms in the institute’s name were made out for enrolment of engineering students. There were some nonexistent institutes in his brochures also. They confronted Jose with the evidence and later intimated the police.
The police personnel also came at the scene and interrogated Jose, but failed to arrest him at the instant.
The following day, Jose exited Classic Hotel via his hotel room window, leaving behind his two companions Syrel Susen Alex,21, and Chinju Kochi,20, stranded with unpaid bills. They later turned out to be victims of Jose’s manipulations. The matter was taken up by the Social Welfare team in the form of an FIR to the Imphal Police Station.
According to police sources, Jose fled to Moreh town and later to Kakching Khunou where he was arrested by the investigating police officer Takhelmayum Rameshwor from the residence of one Sanayai on August 12.
Police on interrogating Jose learnt that he was wanted for three cases of fraud by Kanjirapally, Kotakara and Kotayyam police stations of Kerela. Jose had confessed that he had admitted more than 5,000 students to different institutes and took 40 percent from the admission and donation money offered by the students. Many were admitted to unrecognized institutes. It may be mentioned that Jose in his recruitment here said that his organization facilitates students by procurement of educational loans and only the need for loan approval were the original certificates.
He also masqueraded as president of Nehru Peace Foundation, state secretary of the North East Chapter while admitting himself at Classic Hotel under the title of secretary of Language Development Council. All of which turned out to be nonexistent organizations.
Jose is charged by the police under section 420,468,471 (forgery, fraud and cheating) and police are currently investigating possibilities of human trafficking. He has been sent to Sajiwa Jail today.
Some ‘social workers’ who were employed by Jose told IFP that due to the endeavor of the Social Welfare Department officials, they have been spared the indignity of aiding a con man and from landing in prison.
The police appealed to the public to be wary from such dubious persons and to verify the credentials of the individual and the concerned organization before taking any steps involving children and monitory transactions.