MUMBAI: The police on Tuesday arrested a 36-year-old man, Khantil Shah, for duping as many as 550 job applicants to the tune of crores of rupees.

Shah collected Rs1.75 lakh from each aspirant promising them jobs in Austria, Denmark and Germany. Shah used an online classified advertising platform to lure applicants. Shah did not even return their passports. Many of Shah’s victims reside in Nepal.

Shah was arrested after 15 people, who he duped approached the Santacruz police. The accused offered applicants in the nursing, hospitality, electrical hardware maintenance sectors. “Shah has been running his job-fraud racket from four offices located in Juhu, Kandivli, Kochi and Chennai. We are also finding out if Shah has offices in other parts of India,” said an officer from the Santacruz police station.

After being hounded by aspirants for almost six months, Shah confessed in February that he never applied for any visa processing. “I saw an online job advertisement for nursing and paid Shah Rs 35,000 as registration charge. He claimed that I have selected for the job after a phone interview in July 2015,” one of the victims, Dancita Alvares, told TOI.

“In September 2015, I paid Rs 1.4 lakh towards the visa processing costs after I received an offer letter, but nothing materialized. Finally in February, Shah confessed that he had never applied for anyone’s visa,” she added.

Another victim, Majeesh Mathew, said, “I am graduated in BSc (nursing) and paid Shah Rs1.75 lakh for a job. Like me there are over 150 applicants, several women from Kerala.”

On Wednesday, the policemen from Kerala landed in Panvel to arrest Shah’s accomplice, Riya, who has been assisting Shah in his Kochi operations. Riya had gone into hiding six months ago after complaints were lodged.

Shah has been booked under the Indian Penal Code sections for cheating and fraud.
Source: TOI-MUM